MPs demand answers to Bodmin & Fowey Hospital closure plans


North Cornwall MP Scott Mann is calling for answers after it was recently announced by NHS Kernow that the Bodmin Treatment Centre would close at the end of March.

The Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG) have a contract with private firm Ramsay Healthcare Ltd to use the building to provide treatments such as cataract and knee operations, but a statement from the KCCG said that a new contract could not be agreed beyond March 2017. Two short term extended contracts have previously been agreed between the two parties to provide treatments.

After hearing the news, Scott Mann held a public meeting on Thursday, 9th March for Bodmin residents, patients and staff from the Treatment Centre to discuss their concerns and hear what steps should be taken next.

Chairing the meeting, Scott said the centre provided a very good level of care and that he could not understand why a facility which offers such a good service with low waiting times would be allowed to close at a time when general hospitals are under pressure. Scott and his office say they are now in the process of pressing the KCCG for a meeting to get more information regarding why a contract could not be agreed and to discuss the future of the Centre.

Speaking after the meeting, Scott Mann said:

“It bemuses me why a facility as good as this can be allowed to close. It takes pressure off of our hospitals and provides a fast and effective level of service to the people of Bodmin, North Cornwall and the wider county.

“The public meeting was well attended with concerned local residents, but I was disappointed that neither the KCCG nor Ramsay Healthcare attended to address our concerns and provide further information.

“In the immediate term it’s vital that all those with treatments are referred to other centres as soon as possible without delay. However I do also want to hear from the KCCG whether they will aim to keep services in Bodmin and whether they will try re-open Bodmin Treatment Centre in the near future so that it can continue to help many people in Cornwall.”

Meanwhile, Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has raised concerns relating to the continued closure of Fowey Community Hospital in Parliament.

Speaking in the Chamber during Leader of the House Questions, Steve said:

“Fowey Community Hospital in my constituency has been closed since last summer. This is despite the fact that the Royal Cornwall Hospital has been on black alert more often than not during that time.”

“Yesterday I received a letter from the senior emergency consultant in Cornwall who said it is therefore inexplicable and unjustifiable that we continue to have closed community hospital beds while patients queue in corridors and emergency departments.”

“Could the Leader of the House arrange a statement from the Health Secretary on the important role community hospitals play, particularly in rural places like Cornwall?“

Speaking following the debate, Steve said:

“The future of Fowey Community Hospital is incredibly important to Fowey and the surrounding area.”

“I will continue to do all I can to raise awareness of its closure and continue to put pressure on the local NHS to reopen it, which I am sure will take pressure off Treliske as well re-opening an important community facility.”

To see Steve’s question and the reply in full please go via the link below:

Both MPS have also welcomed welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement in last week’s Budget that Cornwall is due to receive aan extra £24m to help fund social care.

Speaking in the Budget last week Chancellor, Phillip Hammond announced that an additional £2 billion will be given to councils in England over the next 3 years to make up the shortfall in funding to adult social care.

Cornwall will be getting a total of almost £24 million over the next three years, £12,068,325 for this coming year, £7,939,590 for 2018/19 and £3,943,423 for 2019/20.

Commenting, Steve said:

“We are all aware of the pressure our local care system in Cornwall has been under recently. I have worked with my Cornish MP colleagues to lobby the Government for more money for Cornwall and am pleased that we will be getting a sizeable share of this new pot of money.”

“Cornwall Council can use this £24m to commission new care packages.”

“This will enable mainly frail, elderly people to be better supported in order to enable them to continue living safely at home and also, in particular, help reduce the number of older patients who get stuck in hospital – sometimes for many months – despite being medically fit to leave, because the current social care system in Cornwall fails to provide the support they need to return home.”

“This is great news and I look forward to working with Cornwall Council to ensure this money is spent sensibly for the benefit of those people who need it most.”