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Treliske Cardiologist Investigated

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11:54am 30th September 2013

There are claims of crisis in the cardiology department at Treliske.

Heart patients are being told not to worry as it is revealed a consultant is being investigated.

Their practice has been restricted after concerns were raised during routine checks in August.

Bosses at the Royal Cornwall say they think four patients are affected so far and letters will go out directly to them.

Divisional Director of Medicine Andy Virr told Pirate FM: "Hopefully we can reassure them that we are properly looking into, if and when concerns being raised, that we are investigating things properly and if we feel that harm has been caused to any of the patients they will be contacted directly by the organisation. But, at the moment that investigation is going on and it has not been completed."

In a statement he added: "Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to continually improving clinical practice and following the principles of transparency and openness as set out in the Francis report 2013. We will always act to put patients first and be honest when we do not meet the high standards we expect of ourselves."

Pirate FM asked Dr Virr why it had taken two months to tell people what was happening: "it's important that we don't cause alarm to our patients when actually no harm has occurred so we need to complete the investigation first and as part of any investigation that's looking into harm to patients when we've identified harm we contact patients and we inform them what has been going on."

This is as bosses battle a backlog of nearly three hundred appointments.

Andy Virr added:  "The backlog of patients is due to high demand and limited capacity at the Trust. We have already put on additional clinics, recruited locum doctors and will shortly go to advert for two permanent Consultant Cardiologists. We have also undertaken a review to assess any risk to patients waiting longer than we would like and patients are being seen based on both their need and length of wait.
 
"We currently have 275 patients waiting to be booked for a cardiology outpatient follow-up appointment and 82 patients waiting to be booked for a planned cardiac investigation. All of these patients will be seen by the end of November. Patients need not contact the Trust directly as we will write to them individually and contact their GP.
 
"We will always act to put patients first and be honest when we do not meet the high standards we expect of ourselves."

11:54am 30th September 2013

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