Care at risk says Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
Bed blocking at Cornwall's main hospital is at its worst for four years and feared to be pushing it to "breaking point."
The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) has hit out at delayed discharges, which they say is not their fault but is causing them "significant concerns" and frustrating the efforts of doctors and nurses.
The situation has led to a backlog throughout the Truro based trust's system and has meant cancelled operations and overcrowding in the accident and emergency department, as patients who should be admitted wait for a bed to become available.
Graham Webster, a public governor at RCHT and vice-chairman of the campaign group Health Initiative Cornwall, said enough was enough.
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"The system is at breaking point and this cannot be allowed to continue," he said.
"The situation is not getting any better. In fact, all the evidence shows that it is getting worse and it is having a major impact on the county's acute hospital.
"It needs to be sorted sooner, not later."
According to the RCHT latest board papers, there have been "exceptionally high numbers" of delayed discharges in February.
The problem surrounds patients with ongoing care needs who are ready to be discharged from acute hospitals like RCHT.
However, bed blocking occurs when the patients, usually elderly or vulnerable, cannot be released because a community hospital place or a council social care package is not available.