Private hospital firm 'unfit for purpose'
The private firm running Cornwall's community hospitals was accused yesterday of being "not fit for purpose" as it lurches from one staffing crisis to another.
The attack was aimed at Kevin Baber, chief executive of Peninsula Community Health, who faced Cornwall councillors in the light of staffing shortages which have caused one hospital to shut for the fourth time in a year and mean more than 40 beds are currently closed.
Mr Baber insisted his organisation, a not-for-profit company which took over community health a year ago, was meeting its contract.
However Alex Folkes, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on Cornwall Council, rejected the explanation.
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"I take the point that you have been recruiting staff," said Mr Folkes. "But I am wondering whether your organisation is fit for purpose any more."
In a blistering attack, Mr Folkes said: "The people of Cornwall expect all the beds to be open all of the time.
"I'm worried that the report (presented to the council) takes the attitude 'we are almost meeting our targets, so that's OK'."