Medic hurt in sky-dive accident

A NUMBER of operations at an Essex hospital have been postponed after a key member of medical staff was seriously injured in a parachute jump. Patients booked in for non-emergency operations have been turned away from Colchester General Hospital after an anaesthetist suffered multiple fractures in the accident.

A NUMBER of operations at an Essex hospital have been postponed after a key member of medical staff was seriously injured in a parachute jump.

Patients booked in for non-emergency operations have been turned away from Colchester General Hospital after an anaesthetist suffered multiple fractures in the accident.

He is now recovering in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, but some people have been told their surgery has been rearranged as staff had already been working to maximum capacity.

Essex Rivers NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said yesterday full cover would only be reached again at the start of September because a lot of people were on holiday.


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The trust stressed problems caused by the anaesthetist's accident have not affected critical care, accident and emergency or maternity services.

But yesterday, Ray Cole, who chairs the Essex Rivers patient and public involvement forum, said the incident had raised questions.

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He said: “I am pleased to know that all emergency situations are covered, such as accident and emergency and they now have locum cover.

“The thing that is slightly worrying is about the elective surgery patients who are going in for surgery because it is a worrying and traumatic time for them - and then to have it cancelled.

“We will be looking at this further in the coming days to make sure measures are in place so that this does not happen again in future.”

It is understood that tens rather than hundreds of people have been affected by the recent problem.

A spokesman for Essex Rivers NHS Trust, said: “When the accident happened, it was unexpected and we had to postpone some lists because the anaesthetists are working to capacity.

“Since then we have had locum cover and existing anaesthetists have been helping out so the problems have been mollified to a large extent.

“The issue is that we are in August and a lot of people are on leave, but come early September there will be a reduction in the pressure but this incident has made it quite challenging for us.”

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