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Cornish Hospitals Under Fire Over Staff Shortages

Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
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2:40pm 23rd December 2014
(Updated 2:40pm 23rd December 2014)

Cornish hospitals come under fire over staff shortages.

Pirate FM has learnt Treliske, the West Cornwall and St Michael's in Hayle had 75 complaints from workers in four months.

There were worries over pay, a lack of breaks and shifts being filled by agency staff too.

An RCHT spokesperson said:

"Our ward staffing levels are reviewed at each shift change-over and adjusted where appropriate to reflect the needs of the patients being cared for.  On each shift we have a pool of staff who can provide flexible cover in the case of unexpected staff absence, as well as an in-house staff bank to cover any expected shortfall.

"We actively encourage our staff to report any concerns and will respond quickly to any issues concerning patient care."

Robert Jones from Penzance had a bad experience at the Royal Cornwall, he said: "My wife, we pushed the button because she needed some help, guess what time the nurse came up eventually, that was a three o' clock we pushed the button, 47 minutes later. She could have been dead by then.

"When I had quite bad diarrhoea and sickness I was put in an isolation ward, and I never saw hardly any of the staff. The only time they came in was to change the bottle or whatever it was, and that was it."

Marna Blundy from West Cornwall Healthwatch said: "We have been concerned about staffing levels for a very long time, and it is really a shame to think that it is still the same, RCHT is under severe financial pressure, it puts more pressure on the staff that are there and it affects the patients because they are not getting the care that they deserve.

"If staff are very busy they don't have time to spend with the patients and they can't pick up what's going on with that patient, you can't do that if you're just rushing past the end of the bed all the time, and patients do need that time with staff who understand them and can listen to them and can see what's going on."

2:40pm 23rd December 2014

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