Hospital Trust chiefs criticised at large NHS public meeting in Penzance

Posted on: 22nd February 2015

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L-R Dr Ellen Wilkinson, Dr Matthew Boulter, Andrew George MP, Dr Peter Carter, Dr Colin Philip


Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust was roundly criticised for not attending a public meeting in Penzance, which saw over 200 people attend to discuss issues relating to local NHS services. The meeting, held at Penwith College on Friday evening, was convened and led by Health Select Committee Member and West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, and was attended by people from across Cornwall, including many NHS staff.

Andrew George, who led the panel, said, “The fact that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust did not send anyone to represent the Trust at this important public event is particularly disappointing, especially at a time when public concern has naturally become heightened in light of the recent “black alert” crisis.”

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, who was a key speaker at the event, said, “It is a disgrace that Trust chiefs and the Board could not be bothered to send anyone to such an important public meeting at such a critical time.” Dr Carter and Mr George will be writing to the Trust to express their disappointment that the Trust was not in attendance.

On the other hand, Mr George told the meeting that he felt extremely proud of frontline NHS staff in the Trust who he knew were prepared to go the extra mile to help get the Trust beyond this crisis. The audience warmly applauded NHS staff.

The meeting showed strong support for NHS services and a show of hands indicated an overwhelming majority of the audience would be prepared to pay more in tax to meet the present and future challenges of the NHS.

Dr Peter Carter praised Andrew George for the stand he has made in Parliament to challenge Andrew Lansley’s Health reforms, his lead in the campaign for safe nurse staffing levels on Hospital Wards and to support nurses in their campaign for fair pay and against plans for lower so called “regional” pay.

The panel included Dr Matthew Boulter, local GP and chairman of the Penwith Living Well Project; Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing; Andrew George, Health Select Committee Member and West Cornwall MP; Dr Colin Philip, Chair of NHS Kernow; Dr Neil Walden, local GP and NHS Kernow locality Lead for the West; and, Dr Ellen Wilkinson, Medical Director of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.