Royal Cornwall Hospitals

Royal Cornwall Hospitals

It has been announced today that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has been placed into special measures by the Care Quality Commission, due to avoidable deaths and unnecessary sight loss.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has been under much scrutiny over the past three years, and has received various critical inspections and warnings. Now, the Care Quality Commission confirm that the standard of care has fallen below an acceptable level, and patients have been put at risk due to unacceptably long waiting lists.

According to the report, inspectors who visited the Royal Cornwall Hospital in July 2017 confirmed that the Trust had failed to improve standards following the earlier inspection in 2016. The Trust was told that they must make a number of immediate improvements, after they raised concerns relating to the safety in the maternity and paediatric emergency departments, and long waiting lists in cardiology and ophthalmology.

In the medical negligence department at Wolferstans, we have been instructed to investigate a number of cases against the Trust involving avoidable sight loss and blindness, delays in diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions, and sadly those involving children which have led to long term injuries or death.

The investigation by the commission confirmed that in cardiology, 554 patients suffered delays as they waited for appointments between December 2016 and June 2017. Sadly, during that time two patients are known to have died of cardiac-related causes whilst on the waiting list.

In ophthalmology, inspectors confirmed that due to the long waits, at least four patients have come to harm, and had suffered “partial loss of vision or complete blindness as a result”.

Worryingly, inspectors also identified serious problems in the maternity department, with unsafe staffing levels and inadequate neonatal life-support training. Within our department at Wolferstans, we regularly support families who have received inadequate care, sadly leading to either the loss of their new born baby, or life changing injuries which require long term medical care and support.

The chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, confirmed that their inspectors repeatedly found “persistent evidence of care that falls below those standards”. As a result, patients had been “placed at risk”.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trusts’ Chief Executive, Kathy Byrne, in responding to the inspection, said “I want to apologise to any patient who has waited too long for treatment or not received the very best care”.

If you or any members of your family have been affected by the level of care provided to you by Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, and you would like to receive local, free and independent legal advice, without any obligation, please contact Jodie O’Connor on 01752 292360 or e-mail jo’

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