Cornishman Article October

Cornishman Article October 2017


This month is another story of changes affecting the local population and promises still not kept. The inpatient beds at Edward Hain remain shut, and over Cornwall there are now 49 Community Hospital beds ‘temporarily’ closed, and no beds available locally. We are pretty sure that beds at Edward Hain, Fowey and St Barnabas hospitals are not part of the new plan for Cornwall.


The provider of services, Cornwall Partnership Trust, will not open the Edward Hain beds, due to safety concerns, the landlord, NHS Property Services will not do the remedial work unless the hospital has a long term future, and the commissioner, NHS Kernow, will not commit until the new plans for the whole of Cornwall are revealed, sometime next year! At a fractious meeting of Cornwall Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, local councillors were angry and frustrated at this lack of any progress.

When the provider of community services was challenged at this meeting about why it had not put forward alternative proposals for the provision of community hospital beds, one of the answers given was that we in West Penwith are difficult to deal with!


Our local MP is setting up a group to look at the issues around Edward Hain, but will this become another delaying tactic, or a real chance to have a modern community facility with beds in West Penwith.  

Come and support the Friends of Edward Hain around St Ives harbour on Oct 21st at 11am wearing your dressing gown to show how many patients have been affected by the closure, and how much we care about community beds in West Penwith.


We are challenging Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group about their changes to patient transport, which you may have heard about in the media. We are particularly concerned about the removal of discretionary funding , the withdrawal of frequent user eligibility for treatments, and the removal of capped payments for voluntary transport schemes. We know how this will hit people. Those needing dialysis three times a week, or radiotherapy five times a week, may no longer receive any financial help unless they fit very narrow financial and medical criteria. Many will fail this on financial grounds, yet still be unable to find the considerable sums required to access treatment. This impacts particularly on those who don’t have a car, or someone who can drive them. Taxis are hugely expensive from West Penwith to Treliske, and buses/trains inappropriate for many conditions.


We have to ask how this fits with the fair and equal access to health care that we have had for the last twenty years, and should be one of the core principles of the new health plan for Cornwall.


Copyright: Jane Varker