Patients are being put at risk by outdated scanners and X-ray machines more than 30 years old, Labour warns
- Outdated scanners and X-ray machines which are over 30 years old are putting patients at risk, Labour has warned
- Around 1,300 ultrasound, scanners and x-ray machines are still being used by NHS hospitals despite being at least ten years old
- One top trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, is using an X-ray machine which was built in 1984
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s health spokesman, has hit out about crumbling hospitals and old equipment
Patients are being put at risk by outdated scanners and X-ray machines which are over 30 years old, Labour has warned.
Almost 1,300 ultrasound, scanners and x-ray machines are still being used by NHS hospitals even though they are at least ten years old.
One top trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, is using an X-ray machine which was built in 1984.
Oxford University Hospitals has an ultrasound machine from 1992 and Dartford and Gravesham has a CT scanner from 2000.
There are no national guidelines on when hospitals should replace these machines but experts say it should be at least every ten years.
Older equipment is much more expensive to run and may be less effective at picking up abnormalities such as cancer tumours.
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Previous research has found the NHS has far fewer scanners than other European countries.
This results in longer waiting times for patients and the scanners are likely to be overused and liable to malfunctioning.
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s health spokesman, said: ‘Eight hard years of Tory austerity imposed on our NHS have led to a backlog of £5billion repairs to crumbling hospitals and old equipment that are in some cases decades past their sell-by date.’
Phillippa Hentsch, of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, said: ‘We know that in recent years, funding to maintain and develop NHS buildings and equipment has been used to prop up day-to-day NHS spending.
This approach simply stores up problems for the future.’
Theresa May has promised to make a significant cash injection into the NHS to coincide with its 70th anniversary on July 5.
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