Labour would resolve dangers of ‘outdated’ NHS equipment – Wes Streeting

Thousands of patients across England have been injured by faulty medical equipment in A&E departments in the past five years, Labour has said.

The party has promised to help tackle the problem by allowing the NHS to bulk buy the latest technology and cutting “unnecessary” red tape.

It comes as shadow health secretary Wes Streeting warned that the Conservatives had left the health service with “outdated and creaking” equipment.

Figures for NHS adverse incidents, where an event causes unexpected or unwanted effects involving the safety of staff and patients, showed that around 2,500 occurred across 50 acute trusts over the last five years.

Obtained by freedom of information request, Labour has estimated that almost 7,000 incidents could have been caused by malfunctioning equipment across all acute trusts in the same time period.

Mr Streeting said: “Thirteen years of Conservative mismanagement has left the NHS with outdated and creaking equipment. NHS staff are forced to work with unsuitable tech, while patients receive worse care as a result.”

Labour said it would ensure firms are not forced to sell into each of the 227 NHS trusts, while also reforming the current system that requires new technology to be re-evaluated by several different bodies.

The party said it would also join up data records to make it easier and faster to recruit patients to trials for new medicines and technologies.

“It’s time for an upgrade. Labour will renew the NHS, pull it into the digital age, and make the service fit for the future,” the MP said.

Health minister Will Quince said: “Another day another unfunded Labour Party spending commitment. Whilst Labour come up with wish lists, the Conservatives are tackling waiting lists.

“The secretary of state has been clear that technology is a priority. We are investing over £2 billion into new technology, as well as upgrading 20 hospitals with modern theatres and wards.

“By investing in cutting edge technology for our NHS we will cut waiting lists so families can get the care they need whilst making sure the NHS is fit for the future.”