THIS WEEK IN 1995: Patients uprooted at night to save money

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Not some far flung island but Port Creek alongside Eastern Road, Portsmouth, earlier this week. I counted more than 50 plastic bottles along with other man-made filth.

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Patients in their nightwear clutching personal belongings were being moved between hospital sites to save money.

In a bid to rationalise services, patients from the east wing at St Mary’s Hospital, Milton, were often uprooted and taken by ambulance across the road to wards in the main building.

Hospital management said the position was unavoidable at weekends when there were not enough doctors to ensure adequate cover at both sites on either side of Milton Road.

Milford ward, which took patients with skin complaints, was often closed at weekends, making a saving of about £1,000 every 48 hours.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson Leigh Richardson said closing the ward saved about £20,000 to £30,000 a year.