Hospital reports a 21 per cent rise in patients
WEST Cornwall Hospital (WCH) says it saw a 21 per cent increase in patients coming in for planned treatment in July.
Chiefs at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust say it is evidence they are committed to increasing numbers and expanding services at the Penzance hospital.
But figures also show there are currently around 700 existing appointments at Treliske for people with west Cornwall post codes.
Driving that number down will be a continued priority, says the RCHT.
The 21 per cent increase on operations or planned treatment compared to last July is being attributed to recent investment and expansion at the St Clare site.
Claire Florey, deputy divisional manager at RCHT tasked with increasing the amount of activity at the hospital, said: "In July we treated 843 elective patients, which is the largest number we've had, looking back over records from the last three years, and a huge 21 per cent increase on the same month last year."
An RCHT spokesperson said: "This is one of the clear indications the hospital is fulfilling its aim of maximising the services on offer."
Last year a £250,000 donation by the League of Friends saw the renovation of one of the hospital's medical wards, known as Med 2.
WCH also opened its revamped Treatment Centre that will see further developments in services around adult hearing and eye treatment, gynaecology and an increase in use of the new CT scanner services. Work started last week to revamp the reception area – thanks to another League of Friends donation – and to finally upgrade the lifts to the wards.
That will mean a four-week closure of Med 2 but the trust says additional beds are being accommodated on the surgical ward and extra beds have been opened at Treliske.
Surgical unit manager Adrian Evans said the trust is still looking to treat more surgical patients at West Cornwall.
He said: "Very few now need to stay overnight with the arrival of the laparoscopic theatre and new techniques, currently about four per cent, and with ongoing improvements numbers are certain to reduce further."
Cornwall councillor Chris Goninan, a member of West Cornwall Hospital Community Forum, said: "This is really good news for the community in west Cornwall. I really welcome what they are saying and all the efforts they've put in.
"I would like them to consider improving the outpatients' appointments and stop giving appointments to people in Truro who could wait a little longer and have appointments in West Cornwall or Hayle.
"I'd like outpatient appointments linked to post codes.
"But what they are doing at WCH is really good, they are really working at that."
The community midwifery team has also relocated to West Cornwall Hospital with a full-time consulting room close to the surgical unit.