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Hospital's weekend staff levels questioned

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HOSPITAL budget cuts may have contributed to the tragic death of a 57-year-old woman in August, it will be suggested in the States next week.

Health Minister Anne Pryke faces tough questions on Tuesday over whether a £74,000 cut to hospital pharmacy services in 2011 contributed to the death of Susan Smith, who died following a weekend stay at the hospital.

At the start of the month, Hospital medical director Dr Andrew Luksa told the inquest into the death of Mrs Smith that Saturdays and Sundays were 'a high risk area' and that bank holidays were 'potentially very dangerous' because of understaffing at the hospital.

Following Dr Luksa's comments, Deputy Geoff Southern has tabled questions over whether the understaffing has been discussed by senior managers, and whether the cut to pharmacy services played a part in the death.

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