The '10 Ambulances' pic went viral – Councillor tells us of the brick wall of NHS funding

Leah Browning reports
Colin Martin, Cornwall Councillor for Lostwithiel who says he stood for Council because he “wanted to do something about the state of health and care services in Cornwall”, now finds himself Vice Chair of the Health & Social Care committee.
His Facebook status yesterday, reaching more than 90,000 people, made a direct correlation between Tory cuts and some of the serious issues currently faced at Treliske hospital.


“TEN ambulances parked outside Treliske today.

Paramedics treating patients in corridors and even in an ambulance because A&E is full.

More patients on trolleys in corridors waiting to leave A&E but wards are full.

Patients in wards ready for discharge but can’t leave because there’s no “package of care” for them at home.

Cornwall Council is responsible for home care, but have had central funding cut by 70% in 4 years.

Tory cuts to council funding are putting lives at risk and threatening to destroy the NHS”

Taken from Colin Martin’s Councillor FB Page

Colin and Chief executive Kathy Byrne had visited A&E, the medical admission ward, the critical ward and a ward where patients were preparing to be discharged.

kathy byrne rcht
Kathy Byrne

Colin spoke to Cornish Stuff today and told us “It was the same in every department, the message was the same; delays in providing care packages are stopping people from leaving hospital when they are ready, and this is clogging up the whole system”

Questions on Cornish Stuff : What will your question be?

Colin told us of his frustrations that care packages were much cheaper than acute hospital beds and paramedics, and that there is a  “brick wall” between NHS funding, from central government, and Social care funding, paid for by Cornwall Council.

“The NHS and Cornwall Council are working hard to break down these barriers and create a single “Cornish Health and Care Service” which will put all the money into one pot and use it where it’s most effective. This should mean much more being spent on helping people to stay healthy and safe in or near to their homes, and result in far fewer unnecessary visits to Treliske.”

Colin echoed Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats in his calls for more money for NHS and social care provision nationally, raised through an additional 1p per pound on income tax, which could raise £6 billion extra each year.

CQC Issues Warning Notice to Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Yesterday a boy attending a St Austell school who had broken his leg had to be Air ambulanced to Derriford as no ambulance was available to take him to Treliske.

A patient waiting in one of the ten ambulances Colin had photographed outside Treliske hospital had waited for 3 hours, laying on a shower floor before medical assistance arrived to his home address.

As the stressful environment continues to put pressure on those undervalued, hardworking staff working in our NHS and the health and social care sector, unfilled vacancies continue to rise.

Colin reported that some staff had implied to him that they “Can’t cope coming to work, seeing things run dangerously”


Leah asks: 

Will the Conservative Government and Cornwall’s 6 Conservative MPs act swiftly in addressing what has been identified as disastrous effects and consequences due to their austerity measures on the services and the people of Cornwall?

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