Menu & Search
           1904556600
Speak to our friendly team
Contact Us Now

The NHS has declared a national emergency over a shortage of intravenous feed, vital to hundreds of vulnerable patients. Total Parenteral Nutrition, also known as TPN, is a nutritional feed used by patients whose bodies are unable to digest normal food. Administered via vein, the feed provides essential calories and nutrients, tailored to the individual needs of each patient and can be used both in hospital and at home.

The  intravenous feed shortage in the NHS comes after British manufacturer Calea were forced to take immediate action following an inspection by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency. Found to be failing to meet safety standards after the presence of potentially fatal bacteria was identified on-site, Calea have reduced production while they implement changes.

A spokesperson for Calea said: “Following a routine MHRA inspection in June 2019, we were directed to change the process by which we add trace elements and vitamins to our parenteral nutrition bags, in order to align with latest standard industry practice. As a result, the time taken to produce bags has increased considerably and this has, unfortunately, affected the supply to patients.”

Calea later informed the NHS of a voluntary decision to impose a production capacity restriction in order to restore a reliable supply long term.

Writing to all NHS hospital trusts, clinicians and affected patients, national patient safety director Dr Aidan Fowler stated that the issue had officially been declared as an emergency incident at the highest level, under the Civil Contingencies Act.

He wrote: “We realise that the disruption presents a clinical risk and have been careful to try and balance the risk of contamination and sepsis against the risk of supply disruption, which we know has already had a significant impact.

“This is a difficult balance but we are of the view that the manufacturing changes are necessary to ensure safe supply now and in the long term.”

He also warned that the disruption/crisis is likely to last much longer than the initially anticipated four weeks and outlined plans to ration the product to those most in need.

Limited supplies are now being allocated to NHS trusts by a national incident team and hospitals have been asked to review patients receiving TPN, to ensure that only those deemed ‘high risk’ are given the feed. Some parents have reportedly been told to go to A&E if vulnerable children were left too long without being fed. Other patients are being moved on to what is known as ‘off the shelf’ standard bags of feed with extra supplements.

Emergency planners, experts and officials from the Department of Health and Social Care are now investigating whether supplies could potentially be obtained from abroad, if the shortage continues.

Meanwhile a Calea representative said: “Supplying patients is Calea’s number one priority and we apologise to patients and their families for the distress caused.

“We are fully committed to working with the MHRA and the NHS Action Group to return to usual and reliable supply levels as quickly as possible during this challenging period.”

 

How Pryers Solicitors Can Help

Pryers are medical negligence experts, if you or a loved one’s health has suffered due to a delay in treatment speak to our experts to find out if you can make a negligence claim.

Start Your Claim Today1904556600
Tell us about your case

Just send us a little bit about yourself and your claim and we will respond within 24 hours.

    Get In Touch
    Latest News

    Maternity Services at Bedford Hospital “Inadequate”

    Following an unannounced inspection, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have downgraded maternity services at Bedford hospital to “inadequate”. Unannounced inspection into maternity services at […]

    Read More

    NHS Launch Maternity Leadership Training

    Nadine Dorries, the Patient Safety Minister has announced £500,000 to fund an innovative NHS maternity leadership training programme. Starting this year, hundreds of senior […]

    Read More

    The Government Response to the Cumberlege Review

    Nadine Dorries, the Minister for Patient Safety has recently issued an update on the Government’s response to the Cumberlege Review. What is the Cumberlege […]

    Read More

    Take a look back through our complete news archive

    Follow us on Twitter

    Considering making a claim, but not sure how you’ll pay for it?

    Our team will advise you for free if we can help you on a no win no fee basis.

    All the details are here: https://bit.ly/2MMPJqT

    Bullying on NHS maternity units and poor training a risk to safety, MPs told https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/maternity-safety-nhs-bullying-shrewsbury-b1789648.html

    Load More...