Hospital demo can’t be ignored
Commenting after a popular demonstration of support for West Cornwall Hospital on Saturday (3rd December 2011), local MP, Andrew George, who spoke at the rally, said that hospital bosses couldn’t ignore the strength of feeling demonstrated by the event.
It was estimated that more than 4,000 people supported the demonstration. The act of joining hands around the hospital could have been repeated two or three times over with the support of those who attended.
Mr George said, “Hospital bosses cannot ignore this demonstration of concern for the hospital. It is important that they restore lost services as soon as possible; especially to reinstate the temporarily closed hospital beds.
“We then need to see a long-term plan for the hospital. The community is fed up being in perpetual protest mode, with regular skirmishes over almost every aspect of hospital planning and service delivery. From the closure of the Path Lab and the High Dependency Unit to the cut in doctor numbers, risk to the future of the pharmacy and out-of-hours x-ray and now the apparent temporary closure of one of the only two remaining hospital wards. It just isn’t good enough.
“A long term plan for West Cornwall should first recognise that it is unsustainable and dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket of just one General Hospital at Treliske, especially in a long thin peninsula where there are no alternatives for those in the far west. West Cornwall Hospital must have a range of hospital services and capacity to help and take the pressure off Treliske, especially when it is unable to cope. West Cornwall Hospital has given an excellent service to the local community for decades. Demonstrators stood together at the weekend to show that they are determined to make sure that it continues to provide excellent services in the future.
“Finally, we want to help. Cornwall has been underfunded for decades. Government appointed hospital bosses can’t campaign to the Government to have the Trust’s legacy debt written off. But I can. And that’s what I’m doing. It’s hopeless trying to plan future hospital services when decisions are perpetually driven by an unsustainable legacy debt and the expectation that it can be paid off soon.”