Royal Cornwall Hospital again told to improve

Kathy Byrne
Image caption Kathy Byrne, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust's chief executive, said she did not feel it was a disappointing report

Cornwall's main hospital has been told it must improve, two years after it was given the same instruction by inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rates the Royal Cornwall Hospital as "requires improvement".

Chief Inspector Professor Sir Mike Richards said it was "disappointing" that "not enough progress" had been made its the 2014 report.

Hospital bosses insist changes have been made and care is getting better.

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The other Cornwall NHS hospitals, St Michael's in Hayle and West Cornwall in Penzance, were rated "good".

Image caption The Royal Cornwall Hospital's emergency staff were not always telling a doctor as the condition of patients deteriorated said the report

The CQC's main concerns about the Royal Cornwall Hospital included:

  • A backlog of patients waiting too long for cardiology tests
  • Emergency staff not always telling a doctor as the condition of patients deteriorated
  • Beds under such pressure that the emergency department was unable to admit patients when needed

Analysis: Jenny Walrond, BBC SW Health Correspondent

In recent months the trust has been ranked one of the worst in the country for waits in A&E, bed blocking and staff being able to report mistakes.

Agency spend is exceptionally high; the hospital spent £1.43m on agency workers in March.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital also has a higher death rate than would be expected so new chief executive Kathy Byrne has some major issues to deal with.

Prof Richards said: "If the trust is going to pull itself round, it will need a combined determination of the staff, the leadership team and the commissioners."

Kathy Byrne, the RCHT's chief executive said: "We don't feel it is a disappointing report.

"I fully accept the CQC's view that in some important areas we have not made enough progress.

"We have acted on all the CQC's "must do" recommendations and are seeing better results for patients across the board."

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