An inquiry has been launched at a leading London hospital following the resignation of one of its surgeons over Government cuts to the NHS.
The Royal College of Surgeons has been asked by Barts and the London Hospital to conduct an independent inquiry amid claims that patients are being harmed due to lack of resources, according to reports.
Orthopaedic surgeon and consultant at the hospital, David Goodier, wrote an email to colleagues in September explaining that he was resigning from the hospital because of a "dangerous" shortage of surgical facilities.
The email was made public yesterday, while it was reported that four other surgeons have also resigned after raising similar concerns about trauma provision at the hospital. Dr Goodier wrote in the letter that he had gone "ballistic" over the hospital's lack of commitment to trauma, and had tried to quit a year ago.
"I was disgusted with the way our trauma cases were being treated, this attitude from the top, the lack of vision and I said I would give up trauma," he wrote.
Dr Goodier, 49, wrote that colleagues convinced him to stay, but he was unsuccessful over the course of the following year in solving the issues that he had raised.
"We are regularly out of kit, out of nurses, out of ODPs [operating department practitioners who plan care] and always out of beds. We have become so used to the situation, it is no longer seen as a crisis, it is the norm."
Dr Goodier ends the email by telling his colleagues that he can no longer continue to work at the hospital while patients are being "physically harmed" due to the lack of resources.
He wrote: "I have been complicit in a poor standard of trauma care and am guilty of negligence by association. I can no longer stand idly by when patients are at best having their human rights breached, and at worst physically harmed by the care that they receive at BLT."
A spokesman for Barts and the London told the BBC that the hospital had "one of the best clinical safety records in the NHS".
"We have taken this as an opportunity to expand our Orthopaedic service and not just replace individuals," he added. "We are attracting high-calibre surgeons."