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Cornish Patients Facing Twelve Hour Waits At A&E

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7:02am 25th October 2014
(Updated 7:02am 25th October 2014)

Patients face some of the longest waits in the country at A&E at Treliske.

No other hospital in England performed worse in the week ending the 12th of October.

Almost 180 patients spent between four and 12 hours waiting to be admitted.

In two cases, it took more than 12 hours.

Graham Webster from Health Initiative Cornwall is worried the system is fragmented because there are so many different healthcare providers: "We simply can't afford to have all of these different organisation providing pockets of healthcare.

"Sadly, unfortunately, with the fact that NHS Kernow have recently announced they're going out to tender for elective surgery, for children's services, they're out to tender on our out-of-hours service as well; the situation is only going to get worse rather than better.

"It's not good for patients, it's not good for the staff because they don't want to hear bad news all the time so we have to step up the efforts in order to try and find a solution."

Unions are worried staff morale is being hit by the long waiting times.

Stuart Roden speaks for Unison in the Duchy and says workers strive to do the best job they can: "I think more funding which would mean hopefully more staff but also better integration between the different services so we don't end up with these backlogs under pressure then that would go a long way towards resolving some of these issues."

Tryphaena Doyle, NHS Kernow's Programme Director System Resilience, said: "Although the system is under pressure, we are seeing improvements in the emergency department. Last week an average of 90 per cent of people were seen within the four hour target. 

"We've invested £3.7 million in the system this winter to increase staff and services and to support people from needing to be admitted to hospital. Partners are working together to make sure people have the right support in place before they're discharged from hospital. This means people can return home when they're ready and a bed is available for someone else.  
"Key decision makers from across the system are now having daily telephone calls which allow them to respond to issues as they happen. We are continuing to support people from reaching an emergency and encouraging people to only use the emergency department if they really need to be seen there and to use alternatives when appropriate."

7:02am 25th October 2014

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