George – Ministers should investigate Poltair closure

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, is calling on Health Ministers to review the closure of Poltair Hospital’s inpatient beds.  The closure, which happened more than six months ago, is, according to the MP, adding to extreme bed pressure, delayed patient discharge from Treliske and West Cornwall hospitals and “risks compromising patient safety”.

Mr George – who is a member of the powerful all party Commons Health Select Committee – says that, because the body with the statutory power to force a review (based on Cornwall Council) is effectively inactive because of the forthcoming Council elections, he believes there should be no further delay and has therefore referred the matter to the Health Secretary himself.

Mr George recently raised concerns with Health Ministers and received assurances that Cornwall’s Health Commissioner, NHS Kernow (the local Clinical Commissioning Group), had the matter in hand.  (A copy of reply from Health Minister – Rt. Hon the Earl Howe PC – is attached).  He had also raised the matter with the outgoing Commissioner – the PCT – and I attach a copy of the letter received from the Chief Executive, Steve Moore.

Mr George said:  “We can’t carry on like this.  Health chiefs tell us that we have too many beds.  Yet most of the problems are caused by having too few.

“Excess bed pressure risks compromising patient safety.  It’s time that this critically important matter was properly reviewed.  We cannot wait until sometime after the new Cornwall Council has bedded itself in after fresh elections in May.”

Mr George had told health campaigners at the Mayors Healthcare Campaign Partnership on Friday of the action he would take.  He had forwarded the correspondence received from Ministers and officials beforehand.

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