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Treliske Patients Treated in Corridors

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7:15am 30th May 2013

It is revealed that patients have had to be treated in the corridors at Cornwall's biggest hospital.

Treliske says others have been left queuing to get into A&E after a spike in emergency admissions over the winter months.

A report is also revealing bed-blocking, missed targets for ambulance handovers, cancelled operations and a so-called 'never event' during surgery in April.

It has been described as 'wrong site surgery' and it meant a patient had to come back to have the correct procedure.

In a statement, the Royal Cornwall said: "Patient safety is our top priority and we are clear that any never event is unacceptable.  Or staff are encouraged to report incidents and near misses and RCHT supports an open culture in which they should feel confident in doing so.

"What is crucial is that RCHT and, where appropriate, the wider NHS learns from any incident and makes any necessary changes to practice to minimise the risk of it happening again."

Graham Webster from Health Initiative Cornwall said: "It's not acceptable. The health system is in crisis here in Cornwall and now what's happening is, as we had predicted many, many months ago, it's starting to fail patients. This is why we are having the problems that we're having at Treliske at the moment.

"Call it winter pressures, for Cornwall it's all year round pressures. The hospital's been under pressure for a very long time really. I was talking to somebody there not so very long ago and they were saying that they hadn't seen normality at the hospital since December last year."

Targets mean that 95% or more of emergency patients are meant to be seen and treated within four hours of arriving at the hospital but according to the latest board report, that only happened in 88% of cases in April.

The number of delayed discharges increased to 4.9% which is above the national expected maximum of 3.5% and works out to an average of 31 patients a day.

93 operations had to be cancelled.

Bosses are meeting to discuss the problems on Thursday.

Medical Director, Dr Paul Upton, insists action is being taken: "I live in Cornwall, I have to take my children occasionally to the emergency department when things aren't right. I think the services that we offer are top notch but I think the building work and the resources around staff should give confidence that the appropriate care can be offered when you need it.

"The right thing to do is to actually make sure that they're seen early by doctors so although it sounds dreadful to have patients being seen by doctors in a corridor, it's much better that the patients are seen than not seen."

7:15am 30th May 2013

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