Author: Anne North

Cornwall’s NHS continues to boost private health profits

By Anne North The privatisation of Cornwall’s health service has been further underlined by official figures showing that NHS bosses are currently trying to transfer hundreds of patients to...

General Election 2024: the annual report on Cornwall’s health will not be discussed until after polling day, but you can read all about it right here, right now

By Anne North A controversial report on the health of the population in Cornwall is to be debated at County Hall next week – after the general election. The...

Cornwall’s health service disrupted as computers crash

By Anne North NHS computers in Cornwall are coming back online today (Wednesday) after a network “outage” yesterday which affected hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries across the county. NHS...

Over the rainbow or out on a limb? Cornwall’s approach to transgender issues in schools is illegal, says top barrister

By Anne North Cornwall Council’s advice to schools about transgender issues has been criticised by a leading human rights lawyer. In June last year the council’s Equality and Diversity...

X & Y: County Hall braces itself for the gender agenda

By Anne North Cornwall could soon be treated to the spectacle of councillors debating the way gender and sex issues are taught in schools. A Cornwall Council scrutiny committee...

That’s the way the money goes: Corserv lands £25 million in County Hall social care contracts

By Anne North Cornwall Council has awarded a £1.92 million contract to its own wholly-owned company, Corserv, to provide supported employment services for the next five years. The service...

If you’re going to Newquay, don’t fall over on Wednesdays or Thursdays

By Anne North Newquay’s minor injury unit is to close on Wednesdays and Thursdays due to staff shortages. Health chiefs say the move is only a temporary measure but...

On yer bike: Cornwall to pilot “active travel” scheme in bid to boost health

By Anne North Cornwall is one of 13 areas in England chosen to promote “active” travel as an alternative to motoring. County Hall wants to encourage cycling and walking...

Derriford hospital declares another critical incident

By Anne North Plymouth’s Derriford hospital, which serves a large part of North and East Cornwall, has declared another “critical incident.” University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said its emergency...

Cornwall set to lose four care homes offering specialist adult care

By Anne North Four care homes in Cornwall for adults with autism and other learning difficulties are to close by 25th April.  The facilities care for about 40 residents....

Poverty: whatever happened to the ambition that Cornwall should be “a brilliant place to be a child?”

By Anne North There appears to have been a dramatic increase in child poverty rates in Cornwall, according to the latest official data collected and published by the Joseph...

Condition critical: don’t go to RCHT unless your condition is “life or limb-threatening”

By Anne North Cornwall’s only acute hospital has declared another “critical incident” as health bosses struggle to meet demand in the accident and emergency department. The latest update this...

RCHT bosses say “no” to full pay rise for zero-hours NHS workers

By Anne North Workers at the Royal Cornwall hospital trust, employed on zero-hours contracts, have lodged a formal grievance over bosses’ decision not to award them the full NHS...

RCHT unions walk away from monthly meetings with managers, claiming “bad faith”

By Anne North Trade unions representing workers at the Royal Cornwall hospital, Truro, have accused managers of “bad faith” and suspended participation in a joint committee unless relations improve....

Cornwall tops national league table for malnourished hospital patients

By Anne North Nearly one hospital admission in 15 in Cornwall concerns a patient who is suffering from malnutrition, according to new research based on official NHS data.  It...

Cornwall to get £5m for health study

By Anne North Cornwall is in line for nearly £5 million to fund research into the causes of inequalities in health. The cash is coming from the National Institute...

New regional secretary takes charge at Unison

By Anne North The biggest trade union in Cornwall’s public sector has a new regional secretary for the South West. Kerry Baigent, a former firefighter, takes charge of Unison...

Care homes sell-off abandoned

By Anne North Cornwall Council plans to sell two care homes, building new ones in their place, have been abandoned. The controversial sell-off decision, approved by the council’s ruling...

Job done! How Cornwall Council won its “war on want” and is now poised to axe its cost of living crisis strategy group

By Anne North Twelve months after a headline-grabbing “summit” to announce the creation of an anti-poverty task force, Cornwall Council’s Conservatives are scrapping the group which last September they...

Gravity wins: the growing cost of ignoring Cornwall’s obesity crisis

By Anne North Cornwall’s fire and rescue service now expects regular calls to help lift obese people, according to a Freedom of Information answer. The data is in line...

Council boss struck down by Covid

By Anne North Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor has Covid and is taking part in today’s full council meeting via the internet. It is thought to be the first...

Cornwall’s Port Health Authority boarded refugee barge in Falmouth but did not check for legionella

By Anne North Cornwall’s port health officials did not check the water supply system on board the Bibby Stockholm barge during the period the ship was in Falmouth, according...

EXCLUSIVE: Cornwall Council offering £200 million to provide care at home service

By Anne North Cornwall Council is preparing to award a contract worth £200 million to carers to look after elderly people in their own homes. Interested bidders have been...

Covid: better safe than sorry, says Cornwall Council

By Anne North Cornwall’s public health experts are again advising people to wear face masks and wash their hands while singing “happy birthday” in a bid to prevent another...

Children’s services on the Isles of Scilly are inadequate, rules Ofsted

By Anne North Children’s services on the Isles of Scilly have been condemned in a scathing report from the government watchdog Ofsted. Ofsted says the Council of the Isles...

Women’s football in Cornwall set for spectacular growth following success of England side in reaching World Cup final

By Anne North The success of the England women’s football team in reaching the World Cup final is expected to bring a huge boost to the sport in Cornwall....

In sickness and InHealth – more of Cornwall’s health budget will contribute to private profits

By Anne North Cornwall’s health chiefs have privatised another large part of patient care. A new community diagnostic centre, in Redruth, is to be provided by the Buckinghamshire-based InHealth...

West Cornwall urgent treatment centre now open until midnight, just in time for the tourists

By Anne North The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has confirmed that from today (Monday) the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) Penzance will stay open until midnight, seven days a week....

People-power in St Ives succeeds in saving the Edward Hain hospital, seven years after Cornwall’s health chiefs closed it

By Anne North The Edward Hain hospital, St Ives, is to become a wellness centre offering a range of health and social care services after a local campaign to...

Like it or lump it: West Cornwall told to accept its amazing shrinking hospital outpatients’ department

By Anne North Inflation has eaten into the cash available for a new outpatient department at the West Cornwall hospital, meaning the new unit will have to be smaller...

Tory votes block calls for 24-hour opening of West Cornwall’s urgent treatment centre

By Anne North Cornwall councillors have rejected calls for an inquiry into the running of the West Cornwall urgent treatment centre, Penzance, and decided instead to welcome a commitment...

75 Up: the battle for West Cornwall’s urgent treatment centre is just part of the story of how successive governments have failed the National Health Service

By Anne North As the National Health Service celebrates its 75th birthday, the stage is set today (Wednesday) for a political fight over the future of the urgent treatment...

Petition launched calling for 24-hour service at West Cornwall urgent treatment centre

By Anne North Health campaigners have launched a petition calling for West Cornwall’s urgent treatment centre to be open 24 hours a day, as it was designed to be...

West Cornwall hospital’s urgent treatment centre aims to stay open until midnight

By Anne North Health bosses say they hope to extend the urgent treatment facilities at the West Cornwall hospital, Penzance, to midnight from next month. What was supposed to...

County Hall to offer time off work for making babies

By Anne North Cornwall Council has become the first local authority in the UK to be awarded “Fertility Friendly” accreditation. The badge follows a period of developing extensive fertility...

Vote Tory and die: 13 years of Conservative rule now brings a swifter death for many in Cornwall

By Anne North Men in the more deprived areas of Cornwall now die more than seven months earlier than before the Conservatives came to power in 2010, according to...

County Hall hires new boss for children’s services

By Anne North Cornwall’s new head of children’s services is to be Chris Spencer, who previously worked for Gloucestershire county council. Mr Spencer takes over formally on 19th June. ...

West Cornwall hospital “highly unlikely” to get new outpatients’ department before next general election

By Anne North While health chiefs are breathing more easily now that the government has confirmed that the Royal Cornwall hospital is, in five years, to get a new...

Sewage dumping closes 11 Cornish shellfisheries because of risk to human health

By Anne North Eleven shellfisheries in Cornwall have been closed because the high-levels of sewage pollution have caused a risk of potentially deadly E coli poisoning. The Cornwall Port...

Cornwall’s health chiefs, and Members of Parliament, breathe a sigh of relief as government confirms funding for new Royal Cornwall Hospital unit

By Anne North Work to build a new women’s and children’s unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, will continue on schedule, the government announced this afternoon (Thursday.)  The...

The long and painful confinement of Cornwall’s “new” hospital has health chiefs on edge

By Anne North Fears are growing that the construction of a new women’s and children’s unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, might be further delayed because of government...

EXCLUSIVE: The politics of poo – how South West Water is trying to spin its way through sewage scandal

By Anne North Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that there are often major differences between the “pollution map” published by Surfers Against Sewage and the new “WaterFit” map published...

A bitter pill: Cornwall’s health chiefs among the most aggressive for pursuing patients who fail to pay for prescriptions

By Anne North Health chiefs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are among the most ferocious in the country when it comes to pursuing people who cannot pay...

Don’t panic, says government, as Mad Cow Disease returns to Cornwall

By Anne North A Cornish farm is at the centre of a study by scientists to find out why an animal died of Mad Cow Disease. Defra has not...

Remembering the day that Cornwall’s health boss said: “we have enough money”

By Anne North The row over whether Cornwall’s health service needs more money – and how much – has taken a new twist with the discovery that the chief...

Penrice birthing centre “needs improvement” says CQC

By Anne North The Penrice birthing unit, a maternity facility at St Austell, is in need of improvement, according to the Care Quality Commission. Although the service scored “good”...

Announcement imminent that Royal Cornwall hospital is to get its new maternity unit

By Anne North Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to approve within weeks the building of a new women’s and children’s unit at the Royal Cornwall hospital, Truro. Although work...

What is happening at West Cornwall hospital? ask health campaigners

By Anne North Health campaigners say they fear the Urgent Treatment Centre at the West Cornwall hospital, Penzance, will remain closed overnight until at least the end of April....

What is a woman? One of the most divisive questions in politics takes to the streets of Falmouth on Saturday

By Anne North Campaigners for transsexual rights plan to take to the streets of Falmouth this weekend to protest against the government’s refusal to recognise Scotland’s new law about...

Cornwall’s nurses on picket lines as government refuses to talk about pay

By Anne North Hundreds of nurses are on picket lines across Cornwall today (Wednesday) in protest at the 20% pay cut they have endured since 2010. The official headline...

Cornwall’s nurses on strike in protest at 20% pay cut since 2010

By Anne North Cornwall’s nurses plan to go on strike today in a 48-hour walk-out in protest at the government’s below-inflation pay offer. Members of the Royal College of...

Rainbow data on sex and gender reveals Falmouth and Penryn as Cornwall’s LGBT capital

By Anne North Cornwall’s gender identity and sexual  orientation issues have, for the first time, been given a formal political and scientific basis with the publication of Office for...

Cornwall urgently needs more care workers, says report

By Anne North Cornwall’s private care sector currently has around 1,500 vacancies – nearly 11% of the minimum necessary workforce – according to a Cornwall Council report. Wage rates...

Penryn-based Sea Sanctuary mental health charity to close

By Anne North A Penryn-based mental health charity which received £1.72 million from the government six years ago is to close.  The charity has been struggling for some time...

Bring your own medical kits, Cornwall’s NHS chiefs tell visitors

By Anne North Cornwall’s under-pressure health chiefs are urging tourists and second home owners to bring their own medical supplies if visiting for New Year. With ambulance and hospital...

Ambulance service joins the rest of Cornwall’s health service in declaring a “critical incident” as demand exceeds supply

By Anne North The South West Ambulance Service Trust has joined Cornwall’s other health providers in declaring a “critical incident” due to extreme demand on its services. At one...

Cornwall’s nurses to go on strike next month

By Anne North Cornwall’s nurses are to go on strike next month.  The Royal College of Nursing has called two more one-day strikes, for 18th and 19th January. The...

Cornwall’s health bosses declare another “critical incident” as care crisis threatens to tear NHS apart

By Anne North Cornwall’s health chiefs have declared a “critical incident due to current operational pressures.” A “critical incident” goes beyond the previous OPEL 4 status, known as a...

Foodbank prepares to deliver 3,000 Christmas meals to those in need

By Anne North Volunteers at the Camborne, Redruth and Pool foodbank are preparing to deliver this year’s Christmas meals and gifts. Yesterday (Monday) saw the first day of food...

Ambulance crews to strike on Wednesday

By Anne North Ambulance services in Cornwall are set to become even more patchy than usual next week when paramedics and emergency call handlers join the wave of strikes...

Nurses at Plymouth’s Derriford hospital on strike in pay dispute

By Anne North Nurses at Plymouth’s Derriford hospital are on strike today (Thursday) affecting the care and treatment of many patients from South East Cornwall. Nurses employed by other...

Cornwall’s bus pass consultation threatens to limit travel times

By Anne North Elderly and disabled people in Cornwall are in danger of seeing restrictions introduced on their bus passes. Cornwall Council is proposing to limit free travel anywhere...

It’s official – government health watchdog says Cornwall does not have enough nurses to keep patients safe

By Anne North The crisis in Cornwall’s health and social care system has become so acute that a government watchdog has warned the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, it must...

Diver finds jewellery worth £10,000 in Helford River

By Peter Tremayne Police are seeking to reunite valuable jewellery, including rings and pendants, with its rightful owner. A member of the public found the jewellery when diving in...

New health scanning facility at Bodmin now open

By Anne North An important new NHS facility has opened in Bodmin, providing patients with a state-of-the-art diagnostic centre. It is the first good news for the Bodmin NHS...

Nurses’ strike: Cornwall set to miss first walk-out, due on Thursday, but there will be picket lines at Plymouth’s Derriford hospital

By Anne North Cornwall’s nurses are not due to take strike action next week, despite voting overwhelmingly to support industrial action in pursuit of their pay claim. Plymouth’s Derriford...

DIY health checks for 2,000 patients in North and South East Cornwall

By Anne North The government is to use people in Cornwall as guinea pigs for an experiment in Do-It-Yourself healthcare.  Some patients will be asked to check their own...

Virtually anywhere: NHS experiment with “Hospital At Home” expanded across Cornwall

By Anne North A six-month experiment designed to keep people out of hospital is to be expanded across the whole of Cornwall from today (Thursday.) Virtual wards, operated by...

Newquay asylum seekers’ “public health emergency” was caused by mistaken report of monkeypox

By Anne North Ambulance crews responding to an emergency call at the Newquay hotel used to house asylum seekers mistakenly thought they were attending a case of monkeypox, now...

Cornwall’s public health team confirms major outbreak at Newquay’s “chickenpox hotel”

By Anne North Cornwall’s public health department has finally broken its silence about last week’s incident at the Beresford hotel, Newquay, which brought large numbers of emergency services to...

Huge emergency response to unwell asylum seeker at Newquay was caused by chickenpox

By Anne North The dramatic response from emergency services to a “medical incident” involving an asylum seeker at a Newquay hotel last week was caused by chickenpox. Two police...

Cornwall’s chief coroner takes on Health Secretary over “preventable” deaths linked to ambulance delays and failing social care

By Anne North Cornwall’s senior coroner has challenged the government to solve the social care crisis which he believes has been a factor in at least four recent deaths....

12 years of Tory rule has brought Cornwall’s NHS to its knees, says Labour

By Anne North The Labour Party has condemned the long hospital waiting lists which have become a feature of healthcare in Cornwall. Official NHS data reported to Cornwall’s Integrated...

South West ambulances failing to meet NHS target response times

By Anne North Ambulance response times in Cornwall and the South West are among the worst in the country, according to new research. On average it takes more than...

Cornwall’s fire chief nominated for national award

By Anne North Cornwall’s Chief Fire Officer has been nominated for a national award. Kathryn Billing has been nominated for the Most Influential Woman in Fire category in this...

Beware of norovirus, warn health chiefs

By Anne North Health chiefs in Cornwall say they have been forced to close several hospital beds because of norovirus, commonly known as the “winter vomiting bug.” The Royal...

Covid-19: little change in Cornwall’s infection rate

By Anne North The latest Covid data for Cornwall – official and unofficial – suggests little change compared with last week. According to the Office for National Statistics, 2.9%...

Cornwall’s social care crisis: ambulance delays at hospitals are getting worse

By Anne North The problem of ambulances being delayed at hospitals because of the social care crisis in Cornwall is getting worse. Data due to be reported to a...

Covid-19: Zoe study suggests incidence of the disease in Cornwall has doubled in a week

By Anne North The independent Zoe study of Covid infection suggests there has been a big increase in the incidence of the disease in Cornwall in the past week....

Covid-19: further slight increase in South West infection

By Anne North There has been a further slight increase in the rate of Covid infection in the south west, according to today’s (Friday’s) data from the Office for...

Covid-19: Cornwall’s infection rate more than doubles in a month

By Anne North Three per cent of the population of Cornwall has Covid, according to the latest survey by the Office for National Statistics.  This compares with 1.2% since...

No medical qualifications required: Cornwall’s health chiefs looking to hire another doctor of spin

By Anne North Cornwall’s new “Integrated Care System” is advertising for another spin doctor to help protect the organisation’s reputation. The ICS launched in July and now sits at...

Royal Cornwall hospital’s replacement maternity unit will not open before “late 2028”

By Anne North A replacement maternity unit at the Royal Cornwall hospital, Truro, will not be finished until late 2028, according to an official Cornwall Council report. This is...

New residential care beds about to open in Penzance

By Anne North Additional care beds are due to open in Penzance later this month, more than a year late. The Frances Bolitho care home is due to open...

Covid-19: South West infection rate increases

By Anne North There is growing evidence that Covid infection across the South West is now rising sharply.  The latest data from the Office for National Statistics reports a...

Covid-19: South West infection rate continues to rise

By Anne North Covid infections in the South West are continuing to rise, according to today’s (Friday’s) data from the Office for National Statistics. Today’s figure suggests that 1.4%...

Covid-19: ONS detects slight increase in infection rates, the first since early July

By Anne North More than 6,800 people in Cornwall still have Covid, according to the most recent data published by the Office for National Statistics.  The infection rate is...

Under new management: Cornwall’s failure to care for autistic adults finally brings shake-up

By Anne North New managers have finally taken over the care of autistic adults in Cornwall, more than a year after Cornwall Council warned the Spectrum Trust it must...

Cornwall’s health workers to be offered pre-fab housing

By Anne North Health workers in west Cornwall are to be offered short-term modular housing as part of a drive to help ease the NHS recruitment crisis. Six pop-up...

People power saves Edward Hain building for health and well-being at St Ives

By Anne North The former Edward Hain hospital, St Ives – closed by the NHS six years ago – has been saved by the local community and will become...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

By Anne North It’s the big sharks that get the headlines, but it’s the tiny microbes that will get you. Eight of Cornwall’s beaches are today (Tuesday) so heavily...

The night when Cornwall did not have one single ambulance capable of responding to a life-threatening emergency

By Anne North Health chiefs have revealed that last month saw one night in Cornwall during which there were no ambulances at all capable of responding to a life-threatening...

Replacement Royal Cornwall hospital wing for women and children is back on track – for now

By Anne North The on-off replacement Women’s and Children’s unit to be built at the Royal Cornwall hospital is back on again, the government has confirmed, after Health Secretary...

Every picture tells a story: how the photo of a makeshift garden shelter in Cornwall led to a health crisis summit in Whitehall (but not much else)

By Anne North The chief executive of the Royal Cornwall hospital trust was among six health bosses summoned to a “crisis meeting” with Health Secretary Steve Barclay last week,...

Royal Cornwall Hospital records its first “never” event for a year, leaving a guidewire inside a patient

By Anne North Truro’s Royal Cornwall hospital has recorded another “never” event during surgery. A guidewire was left in the patient.  A guidewire is typically a thin, flexible, medical...

On yer bike! Government gives Cornwall £840,000 to promote a two-wheeled approach to good health

By Anne North Cornwall is one of 11 areas where the government is funding GPs and others to offer social prescribing which will include walking and cycling. County Hall...

Cornwall’s health and social care system to get private ambulances, virtual hospital beds and lots more volunteers – but junior minister has only 14 days to make her plan succeed

By Anne North Heart patients in Cornwall are going to be told to stay at home in new “virtual” hospital beds, according to health minister Maria Caulfield (right.) Ms...

Remember the promise of 40 new hospitals? This is the reality

After 12 years of Conservative government, five of them in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, 87-year-olds in St Columb who fall and break seven ribs, and fracture their pelvis...

Please make sure you don’t hurt yourself outside of our random new opening times, say hospital bosses, as Cornwall’s shortage of nurses starts to bite

By Anne North The shortage of nurses in Cornwall has reduced opening times at the Penzance urgent treatment centre to a lottery, with health chiefs unable to say from...

Covid-19: infection rate in South West falls to 4.3%

By Anne North The rate of Covid infection in the South West has fallen in the past week, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics....