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West Suffolk Hospital 'closure' considered over blood bank

From BBC - April 4, 2018

Closure of a hospital was considered after its blood bank was deemed "seriously deficient" and posed a risk to patients, inspectors said.

An internal NHS document leaked to the BBC shows an order that would have "effectively closed down" the West Suffolk Hospital was considered.

But the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) decided the consequences were too big.

West Suffolk Hospital said it had since taken "robust" action to improve.

Nick Jenkins, medical director at the Bury St Edmunds hospital, said deficiencies found were related to quality assurance in its laboratory management processes and computer system.

He said they did not affect the safety of patients or the quality of blood used.

The medicines watchdog said the hospital put in place a "comprehensive remediation plan" after its blood services were inspected in January 2017.

Rated 'outstanding'

According to the document "Pathology Services - The aftermath of consolidation", the hospital's pathology services were "seriously deficient" and "presented a significant risk of providing a product which was harmful to the patient".

It said a "cease and desist order" was considered but the MHRA decided the consequences of closing the hospital were "considered greater than the risk of the blood bank [running] with urgent remedial action".

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