Comment from Andrew George in response to RCHT statement (18th August 2009)
Originally posted on 19.08.2009
“Unfortunately, the fate of the hospital was effectively sealed when a few former hospital campaigners publicly endorsed the Trusts’ plans in a joint statement two years ago. I made clear my concerns and objections to these plans at the time. Although I was publicly castigated for my pains, the reality has emerged gradually since then.”
“Sadly, this isn’t the A&E service the community thought they were going to get. It’s not what 20,000 people marched to secure seven years ago.”
“The artful use of the clinically unrecognised term ‘Casualty’ has allowed the Trust to quietly re-plan and downgrade. Following the cuts in pathology lab cover, removal of emergency surgery, cuts in surgical beds, downgrading of the high dependency unit and other changes, the likelihood of retaining a stand alone and blue light ambulance receiving A&E service became unrealistic.”
“My regular visits to the Hospital and recent Ambulance Service shadowing exercise confirms this too.”
“Rather than limping on with this ‘make do and mend’ arrangement, at some stage, the Trust and the community will have to look again at the agreement I had secured with hospital managers in 2004 to rebuild or new build West Cornwall Hospital and to plan for its long term future. We had previously agreed a hospital with more beds, more services, more doctors and staff and a wider range of patient care. Until this happens, we will keep coming back to questions about the sustainability of maintaining services when providing an acute health service on this scale,” said Mr George.