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Hospital chief blames cash lack for HAI failure


Hospitals in the UK are not getting enough financial help to help them meet infection targets and maintain standards, it has been claimed.

James Lee, former chairman of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals NHS Trust, told a television programme that a shortfall in finances was at the heart of problems facing many hospitals.

Mr Lee resigned after a report by health watchdog the Healthcare Commission criticised his trust over outbreaks of Clostridium difficile infection.

The report said C difficile was probably responsible for the deaths of 90 people treated by the trust between 2004 and 2006.

Speaking on the BBC’s Politics Show South East, Mr Lee said: “What I would have done had I stayed would have been to ask the board to really work out what it would cost to meet the Healthcare Commission’s requirements.

“Put the beds three metres apart, have a nurse for every four beds, run the hospital at 85% efficiency, and surprise, surprise – what it would require is a magnitude of more money to do that.

“This is at the heart of the problem. On the one hand, standards are set and targets are set but the money doesn’t follow.”

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals NHS Trust

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