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Cash-Strapped Hospital loses Top Surgeons

Mount Vernon, one of Britain’s prime plastic surgery units, is losing four of their senior consultants because of inadequate funds// to maintain the hospital.

The four specialists, Douglas Harrison, Paul Smith, David Gault and Rajiv Grover were part of a team of nine experts at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood. As they leave services of the hospital would be dramatically reduced.

Mount Vernon is run by the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which has confirmed that it is facing a year-end budget deficit of £28 million. The hospital used to be one of the largest plastic surgery and reconstruction units in UK.

With inadequate funds any repair work of the crumbling hospital was affected. The four consultants felt that the state of the hospital reflected the limited support of the hospital's management. According to them, Mount Vernon was run by incompetent managers who were not bothered about the plight of Mount Vernon.

Mr Gault claimed that enforced regulations like cost saving rules and waiting times had also effected the standards and quality of training of the staff at the unit. The patients are the ones who would stand to lose the most followed by inefficiently trained doctors.

The only hope for the unit seemed to lie with members of the public especially its high profile patients like Cherie Blair’s father.

David Law, chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, himself admitted that he was aware of the pathetic state of the unit but was no longer able to discharge the duty of care to its patients and staff.

With the decreased number of doctors and the condition of the unit the future of Mount Vernon seemed ominous.

"The Trust and local PCTs have sought to re-site the present services of Mount Vernon as well as an option to provide temporary accommodation on Mount Vernon site until a permanent move to the new Watford Hospital was achieved.

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