Patients at risk

More than one in four hospitals across the country including 10 in the West Midlands are using out of date and potentially unsafe equipment.

A report's found in some cases doctors performing key hole surgery are using old re-usabel instruments which carry extra risks for patients.

Those using bronze equipment in our region are:

- Birmingham Children's Hospital
- Birmingham Women's Hospital
- Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham
- Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham
- Kidderminster Hospital, Worcs
- Nuffield Health Hospital, Wolverhampton
- Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
- Solihull Hospital, West Mids
- Stafford District General
- Warwick General Hospital

Though, just over one in 10 hospitals in the UK were operating with the highest standard of equipment for carrying out safe, advanced keyhole surgery

Those using gold equipment in the West Midlands are:

- Sandwell & City Hospital, Birmingham
- Worcestershire Royal Hospital

However Some 3% were not using modern technologies such as ultrasound in their operations and almost one in four hospitals did not have a maintenance contract to replace broken tools.

Keyhole surgery is used for almost all gastrointestinal and abdominal operations and is less painful for patients, leading to speedier recovery and smaller scars.

Mike Parker, past president of the Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland (ALSGBI), said: "It is unbelievable that some surgeons are still having to use equipment which limits the operations they can perform safely."

"We hope the result of this audit encourages surgeons and management to discuss upgrading their equipment to improve standards and to reassure patients that the best service is being provided."