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Emergency Patient Backlog Discussed by Health Bosses

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7:01am 25th April 2013

Pirate FM has learnt the number of patients waiting more than four hours in A and E at Cornwall's biggest hospital has more than doubled.

In March there were more than seven hundred and fifty at Treliske.

Meantime - ambulances were stacking up outside. Ten a day had to wait for more than half an hour to hand a patient over to emergency teams at the hospital.

Bosses are meeting to discuss it on Thursday - but blame bed blocking, norovirus and people needing longer stays on wards.

Jess from Pool says her gran has been moved three times in a month as staff try to cope: "They just moved her to a different hospital - they just needed the bed. Then she was down in Penzance for about a week and then she got moved, because they needed the bed back, to Falmouth. So she's been in Falmouth for a couple of weeks now. And now they're trying to move her to Barncoose.

"She got taken in to Treliske and the ward she was on - they were short staffed. So she's just been moved from hospital to hospital. The staff do what they can - but they're short staffed. It's just a bit much for them really."

The problem is being made worse because community hospitals, now run by not-for-profit company Peninsula Community Health, have shut a string of beds and wards because they do not have enough staff to cope.

That has meant that patients who would normally be discharged from Treliske to one of community hospitals have nowhere to go.

Joe McKenna from Health Initiative Cornwall said: "One part of what is now no longer the NHS is closing beds, the other part can not get their patients into community hospital. It's just nonsense - the whole thing is nonsense.

"What it comes back to is a lack of funding for the NHS in Cornwall. At times there are around 40 patients waiting to be discharged by the Royal Cornwall Hospital with nowhere to go - who just stay in the RCHT."

RCHT Chief Operating Officer, Jo Gibbs said: “Our services have been under considerable pressure due to the numbers of emergency admissions, many of whom have been elderly patients who were particularly unwell with complex needs.  We have experienced delays in discharging patients home with packages of support or to other community hospital or care home services.

“We are working closely with our partners in health and adult social care to find solutions to improve patient flow and to ensure patients are receiving the right care in the most appropriate setting.”

7:01am 25th April 2013

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