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West Cornwall Hospital Fears

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2:53pm 7th December 2011
(Updated 2:53pm 7th December 2011)

It is claimed the West Cornwall hospital is going to lose more doctors.

A leaked memo says the closure of a ward will not be reviewed until April.

At the weekend protestors marched over downgrade fears.

Campaigner Alana Bates was one of them: "Hands off our hospital. Stop taking parts of our hospital away. We need this facility in Penwith. I don't think they understand the amount of stress people have to go through to get up to Treliske. Please let us have a proper hospital in our locality like we've had for years."

"People are angry about it. They are angry, and they're shocked that the RCHT obviously weren't going to take any notice of our demonstration. People are very angry. We're going to be going to the RCHT board meeting next Thursday to hand in our petition."

Health bosses say the memo has been worded wrong, and staff are sent where they are needed most.

RCHT Chief Executive, Lezli Boswell says:
“The Board has made a clear commitment to reviewing the re-opening of the medical ward at West Cornwall Hospital on a monthly basis.  This has not changed and we will be assessing the position again at the end of January.  The wording of the internal memo is incorrect and this is being addressed with the department concerned.
“The majority of our medical staff work across all three of our sites and rotas are agreed to provide safe levels of cover at all of our hospitals to meet the clinical need of our patients.”

But St Ives MP Andrew George is not convinced. He is calling for more re-assurances:

" The general feeling is concern that the West Cornwall Hospital appears to be viewed as a bit of an old banger from which spare parts can be taken, rather than as a hospital in its own right"

"The Chief Exec wants to restore trust and confidence. I respect the efforts that she and others are making in that regard. The trouble is that memos like this and other anecdotes really set that effort back"

2:53pm 7th December 2011

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