Blackout at PFI hospital forces surgeon to operate by torchlight

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 24 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2949
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

One of Scotland’s biggest hospitals is considering legal action against the company that runs its non-medical services under the private finance initiative (PFI) after repeated problems that have endangered patients.

The latest incident at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary meant that a surgeon had to complete an operation by torchlight after the power supply to the theatre was disconnected. In December the private company Consort Healthcare was fined £100 000 (€120 000; $160 000) when a similar blackout forced a father to search for his newborn son in a birthing pool using the light from his mobile phone.

The NHS Lothian health board is now consulting lawyers to examine its options in relation …

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