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Fears Over Cornwall's Emergency Care

treliske 1
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12:11pm 29th August 2012
(Updated 12:11pm 29th August 2012)

Cornwall's biggest hospital struggles to cope with demand.

Pirate FM has learnt casualty at Treliske has been inundated since the out of hours doctors service changed the way it deals with calls.

Bosses say they are ironing out teething problems and are meeting targets again.

But campaigner Graham Webster thinks the hospital is under more pressure than ever:

"That is of concern to me and to patients here in Cornwall. You can probably deal with it on a one off but we're dealing with it on a day to day basis now and that is not good for the delivery of high quality safe healthcare here in Cornwall

"There really should have been very close working together on the implementation of this new system. The contract which exists between the Primary Care Trust and the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust should have been adjusted to take account of the increasing number of patients which were likely to be referred under this new system."

Chief Operating Officer for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Jo Gibbs, said:

"Since February this year we have being seeing high levels of emergency attendances and admissions which have been combined with pressures from delayed transfers of care.

"Making sure we provide the right care, at the right time and in the right place for patients needs the co-ordinated effort of all services across the health and social care community.  To that end, we are working together to improve the flow of patients through our hospitals and to ensure patients receive the best care in the right setting."

Bridget Sampson, Director of Primary Care and Medicines Management for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, said:

"NHS Pathways is a nationally recognised system for the effective triaging of patients. Its introduction locally unfortunately created some initial teething problems as staff became used to using the new system, but the hospital and Serco have been working together to address the issues.

"As a result of this A&E attendances have since moved closer to more normal levels for the summer period when population numbers are increased although we will continue to monitor the position. We do continue to see unnecessary use of this emergency service and continue to actively promote our Choose Well campaign to visitors who may not appreciate the array of alternatives to A&E that are available for non-emergency care."

12:11pm 29th August 2012

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