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Hospital Crisis Meeting After Operations Cancelled

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9:34am 29th October 2013
(Updated 9:34am 29th October 2013)

A crisis meeting is being held over Cornwall's healthcare.

It is after almost twenty operations had to be cancelled at Treliske on one day, because there were not enough beds for patients.

Pirate FM has learnt on the same day this month more than fifty people had to wait over four hours to be seen in A and E, while almost twenty ambulances waited over half an hour to handover patients.

But papers to be presented to a committee of councillors will reveal the crisis had been brewing for some time before October 7th.

In a report the RCHT says, "The Trust’s bed state had been at either ‘red’ or ‘red standby to black’ for the previous three weeks, conference calls had been held during this period to highlight the lack of patient flow in the system to partners in the Health and Social Care community.

"This was not only affecting our ability to see patients within 4 hours but also was a poor experience for patients who were queuing for admission.

"As the 7th October progressed the situation became significantly worse. At 16.40, the hospital position was formally reviewed against the escalation levels and all criteria were met for black. There were significant safety concerns being flagged by the ED consultant. At 17.10 it was agreed to implement the major incident process."

What followed was a row between the hospital and the council, which is in charge of putting together care packages for patients who are ready to be discharged.

Officials at County Hall claimed they had not been notified there was a problem - a claim rejected by the hospital.

Terry Murray from West Cornwall Healthwatch said: "When you've been in hospital and you think you're OK you want to go home as quick as you can. You don't want to stay there. You want to be with your loved ones and be looked after at home.

"If that can't be arranged, unfortunately the hospital has to pick up the bill, which also means all the other costs that are associated with that. You've still got to nurse them, you've still got to feed them. They're not being neglected at all. That's a cost that goes against the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, which really should go against the community because the community should be having them."

He warns the council has to spend more money on adult social care if a repeat of the crisis is to be avoided.

9:34am 29th October 2013

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