Saturday, December 15, 2007

Scanner mix up

A scanner built for a hospital in Norfolk ended up 10,000 miles away in Australia after a medical mix-up. Technicians installing equipment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn, found it was not quite what the doctor ordered.

They found a CT scanner built for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide was sent to the Fens, while a scanner ordered by the QEH had gone down under. The machines have now been dismantled to be shipped to their correct homes.

"There's probably a shipping clerk sitting in an office very miserable," QEH spokesman Richard Humphries said. The mistake over the £500,000 scanner, built for the QEH's new £3m radiology suite, was made by Dutch medical supplier Philips.

Amsterdam-based Philips admitted both scanners were sent to the wrong side of the world following an administrative error.

A spokesman for the firm said: "It's the first time this has ever happened and I don't understand how it could have happened.

"There were two being built at the same time and something must have got mixed up with the paperwork in the final stages."

He confirmed a replacement scanner was being shipped to the QEH from Israel which would be up and running by Wednesday.

The cost of exchanging the two machines will be met by Philips.

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