Rochdale Infirmary heart surgery: MP Danczuk in inquiry call

A Rochdale MP has called for an inquiry after surgeons were unable to summon help for a patient in difficulty.

Surgeons at Rochdale Infirmary were unable to get emergency assistance when a patient went into cardiac arrest during a routine operation on Tuesday.

They were unaware of new guidelines on contacting resuscitation teams, which include dialling an internal number.

Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, said: "If it weren't so life-threateningly serious it would be almost farcical."

He added: "It is no way to run a hospital and I will be calling for a full investigation into this incident."

When the man went into cardiac arrest, surgeons pressed a buzzer to summon a so-called "crash" team to help restart his heart.

But the teams were moved to other hospitals after Rochdale Infirmary was downgraded from an A&E hospital in 2010.

'Bad communication'

When no one responded to the alarm, the medics called the security office and were advised to phone 999 and ask for an ambulance.

The patient, who had gone in for an angioplasty operation, survived after the surgery team managed to restart his heart without outside help.

Mr Danczuk said: "I knew communications were bad but I didn't know they were so bad that the medical staff who are carrying out operations in the hospital didn't even know that the crash team had been withdrawn."

A spokesman for Rochdale Infirmary said it could not confirm whether or not doctors were told to dial 999 or whether they made the call.

Pennine Acute Trust, which runs the hospital, said a small number of non-urgent operations will be postponed while it investigates the incident.

Rochdale Infirmary is now classed as an urgent care centre which carries out non-emergency procedures and has emergency support teams, but not a dedicated emergency resuscitation crash team.

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