Is RCHT getting the support it deserves?

MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, has called on

Health Ministers to ensure that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust is getting the support it deserves.

In this week’s Health Select Committee, Mr George highlighted the problems of excessive staff pressure, which was undermining morale, as well as bed and funding pressures. During this week’s Select Committee Evidence Session, Mr George warned NHS Chief, Sir David Nicholson, that the RCHT was experiencing some of the same ingredients which led to a major failure in patient care at the Mid Staffordshire Hospital.

Mr George said: “I have every confidence in RCHT’s Chief Executive and have great admiration for the commitment, dedication and stoicism of the Trust’s hardworking staff.

“However, the Trust is soldiering on with a large legacy debt around its neck and the lowest (tariff) payments for its work in the country. The recent “major incident status” at the hospital which resulted in the cancellation of routine surgery is a further demonstration of how finance and other circumstances are forcing Trust managers to run the organisation as a perpetual “high wire” act.” Bed capacity is often stretched and staff patient ratios undermine morale and risk compromising professional standards.

“Our health systems, especially our hospitals, ought to be given the resources so that they can run with sufficient spare capacity to cope when a norovirus (winter vomiting bug) outbreak occurs.

“I’m certainly not criticizing the management or staff and I think that, as I said to the NHS Chief, Sir David Nicholson, the pressure is coming from above.”

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