Andrew George, MP has called on Health Ministers to ensure that the Royal Cornwall HospitalsTrust is getting the support it deserves.
Mr George highlighted the problems of excessive staffpressure, 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. Bed capacity is often stretched and staff patient ratios undermine morale and risk compromising professional standards.
We have opened additional beds in our hospitals. Urgent cancer surgery is going ahead and all other cases are being reviewed on a day by day basis. Patients whose operations are postponed are being contacted individually.Major incident status allows us to heighten our response. We maintain regular contact with our health and social care colleagues throughout the day agreeing a combined response to minimise the impact of the current pressures.
There are currently 2 wards closed and 3 isolated bays closed at the Royal Cornwall Hospital due to Norovirus. Around 20 routine operations have been postponed on weekdays. The majority of Day Cases are going ahead and surgery at St Michael’s and West Cornwall hospitals is unaffected.
Visitors are asked to ring the ward they intend to visit for advice before setting out.
Due to the combination of high levels of emergency admissions, cases of Norovirus and delays in discharging some patients, RCHT is using its major incident plan to work with health and social care colleagues to manage the current demand on hospital and community services.One of the top priorities is to minimise the risk of the spread of Nororvirus in our hospitals.