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Funding Calls to Replace 'Outdated' Hospital Equipment

Hospitals in England are using "outdated" medical equipment from the 1980s, according to new research.

The Government must give hospitals funding to invest in newer equipment so patients can have confidence in the accuracy of the results they receive, the Liberal Democrats added. The party said Freedom of Information requests to NHS trusts in England revealed more than 500 pieces of medical equipment, including CT scanners and MRI scanners, are more than 10 years old. It added this included 37-year-old X-ray machines at two trusts.

The Lib Dems pointed to 2020 advice which stated "all imaging equipment older than 10 years should be replaced".

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: "Having lost both my parents to cancer, I know just how important it is that patients receive the highest quality of care on the NHS.

"It beggars belief that NHS staff are having to rely on results from decades-old hospital scanners, machinery that may have been built before they were even born.

"Understaffed and exhausted NHS staff are being pushed to breaking point, while patients are treated in crumbling hospitals with outdated equipment.

"The potential for error from poor quality machines doesn’t bear thinking about. People up and down the country will be worried about whether they will get an accurate reading from these decades-old machines.

"The Government must give hospitals the capital funding they need to invest in newer equipment, so patients can get the first-class treatment they deserve."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "We are investing record sums to upgrade and modernise the NHS so staff have the facilities needed to provide world-class care for patients, backed by £4.2 billion this year and £8.4 billion over the next 2 years.

"The NHS spent 99% of the capital funding available to it in 21/22, delivering huge benefits for patients and staff, including 16 new hospital upgrades and 92 community diagnostic centres to provide tests, checks and scans, as well as the renewal and replacement of equipment and minor building works."

This article contains information from PA Media