Reassurance on doctor cover requested
Local MP, Andrew George, has requested the reassurance of the Hospitals Trust following Saturday’s demonstration, particularly following leaked evidence that the Trust will not review the closure of the Medical Ward at West Cornwall Hospital on a monthly basis, as they had promised and that hospital doctor numbers at West Cornwall Hospital are being cut to an unsustainable level until April next year.
Mr George and fellow community representatives had been reassured by Trust bosses that the decision to close one of the two Medical Wards at West Cornwall Hospital had been made on a temporary basis and that the situation would be kept under regular monthly review. However, a memo seen by Mr George from the Medical Staffing Co-ordinator at the Trust to doctors at West Cornwall Hospital states that the Ward “is due to remain closed until April 2012“.
It also goes on to inform staff at West Cornwall Hospital of the removal of more doctors from the hospital. It is understood that hospital doctors are concerned about the potential impact this will have on the sustainability of the service, the support which hospital doctors provide for Poltair, the Renal Unit, casualty service and elsewhere and the capacity to cope with patients arriving out of hours. It is understood that doctors had not been consulted.
Mr George said, “Things are bad enough when we are fighting to restore services lost. This is no time to covertly cut doctor cover further, especially if it has potential consequences for medical safety, leaves the out-of-hours service at risk and doctors and nurses having to cope in isolation.”