Health & Social Care

Councillors to debate Cornwall’s approach to transgender issues in schools

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall councillors are to go ahead with an inquiry into the way gender-identity is “taught” in local schools, despite new guidance expected imminently from the Department...

The devil is in the detail: while the ambition is “brilliant” the reality is red warning lights flashing all over the place

By Julia Penhaligon There is always more to do – and less to do it with.  Cornwall’s children’s services are heading for a crisis with rising demand – but...

Home care provider under investigation

By Lee Trewhela A business which provides home care for people with dementia and learning and physical disabilities in Cornwall is under investigation. Cornwall Council is ceasing any further...

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...

What a drag: Cornwall’s MPs vote to ban smoking

By Julia Penhaligon Only one of Cornwall’s MPs voted against a ban of smoking last night (Tuesday.) Camborne and Redruth’s George Eustice, who has only a few months to...

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...

Lostwithiel “hub” aims to point the way for elderly residential care

By Lee Trewhela A new care hub which would be an “exemplar” of how to deliver care to the elderly for the future could replace an established 42-bedroom home...

Camborne’s Dolcoath council offices are to become a private residential care home

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The site of the council offices at Dolcoath Avenue in Camborne is in line to become a private 66-bed care home for the elderly following a...

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...

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...

Government’s failure to consider beach safety during Covid contributed to deaths, says coroner

By Harold Callahan Cornwall’s senior coroner Andrew Cox has called on the government to learn lessons from how its chaotic administration of Covid lockdown rules contributed to the deaths...

That’s the way the money goes: why some Tories think their “laser-like” war on waste needs recalibrating

By Julia Penhaligon With Cornwall’s Conservatives only three weeks away from setting a budget which will impose the maximum 5% increase in local council tax, details have emerged of...

It pays to advertise: how Cornwall’s taxpayers are funding the “Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati”

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Ever since Suella Braverman blamed the world’s problems on the “Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati” the world has been watching for signs that some of those Guardian readers...

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...

Cornwall records its highest ever level of drug deaths

By Lee Trewhela Concerns have been raised after Cornwall recorded its highest ever level of drug deaths, a figure which is likely to increase again. A Cornwall Council meeting...

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...

Polwithen House, Penzance, finally gets planning permission for “multi-generational” redevelopment

By Lee Trewhela The applicant behind plans for a huge “multi-generational” mixed housing and care development in Penzance says it would take the pressure off NHS beds in Cornwall....

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....

Boardmasters: a suitable case for inquiry?

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Organisers of the Boardmasters music festival at Newquay have applied to increase its capacity by 5,000 next year, a rise of nearly 9.4%  bringing a total...

Place your bets: Cornwall’s housebuilding chief invites punters to finance new specialist housing programme

By Julia Penhaligon The boss of Cornwall’s publicly-owned housebuilding company is urging investors to gamble on his ability to make them rich. Tim Mulholland, managing director of Treveth, has...

“Risk of closure” determined which of Cornwall’s leisure centres got government swimming pool fund

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Government cash to support Cornwall’s indoor swimming pools appears to have deliberately targeted at “lame duck” leisure centres operated by County Hall’s preferred contractor, GLL. A...

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’s hospital whistleblowers are worried about their jobs

By Lee Trewhela NHS staff working for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) are increasingly worried about speaking out about risks to patients and the effect it may have...

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...

“Systemic safety issues” caused death at Derriford hospital when woman was blown over by helicopter downdraft

By Peter Tremayne Air accident investigators have suggested safety improvements after a woman died at Derriford hospital when she was blown over by the downdraft from a helicopter. Jean...

It’s only money: why Cornwall’s council tax is rising by the max

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council is continuing to “overspend” by more than £500,000 per week, according to an official County Hall report. The disclosure comes on the same day...

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...

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...

North Cornwall GP surgery ruled “unsafe” by Care Quality Commission

By Anne North The St Petroc doctors’ surgery at St Columb has been given six months to improve or face closure, after the Care Quality Commission ruled it is...

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...

100 not out: the people in Cornwall who have already lived for decades longer than they might have expected

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall has fewer people aged over 100 years than many other South West counties, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics. In 2021...

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...

Health boss who left Chester hospital when killer nurse was arrested then got top job in Cornwall

By Lee Trewhela The former NHS chief executive at the centre of concerns that hospital bosses ignored warnings about serial killer Lucy Letby was briefly in charge of Cornwall’s...

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...

Is Cornwall losing the pasty war? Greggs made £80 million profit in only six months

By Peter Tremayne Greggs, the Newcastle-based fast food producer which is seeking to expand its sales of “pasties” in Cornwall, has increased pre-tax profits for the past six months by...

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...

Man arrested on suspicion of murder after woman dies at Royal Cornwall hospital

By Peter Tremayne Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the death of a woman at the Royal Cornwall hospital, Truro, on Wednesday.. Police were called at around 4.45pm...

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...

Around 1,900 children are not in school in Cornwall today – a rise of more than 700 since Covid

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The number of children in Cornwall who miss school has rocketed since the Covid crisis, according to new figures. “The attendance of children in school, primary...

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...

Splashing out: two years after being threatened with closure, Wadebridge sports centre celebrates £1 million government grant

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Wadebridge sports centre, rescued from the threat of Cornwall Council closure by a community campaign last year, has been granted nearly £1 million from the government. ...

Look back in anger: the man who led Cornwall’s response to the Covid crisis dismayed by former Health Secretary’s evidence to inquiry, as local death toll is now 1,252

By Graham Smith The former Cornwall Council cabinet member responsible for health and adult social care, former councillor Rob Rotchell, has said he is very angry at the way...

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...

Councillors demand a debate about overnight health emergencies in West Cornwall

By Lee Trewhela The ending of 24-hour emergency cover at the West Cornwall hospital, Penzance, is to be debated formally at a Cornwall Council scrutiny committee meeting next month....

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...

Children with special educational needs: Cornwall must do better, say watchdogs

By Lee Trewhela Cornwall’s provision for children with special educational needs has been criticised for “inconsistent experiences and outcomes” with some children not getting support when they most need...

Huge barge for 500 asylum seekers is on its way to Falmouth

By Peter Tremayne It looks as if Cornish shipping engineers will be asked to fit out the giant floating barge which will be used to house 500 male asylum...

Hayle company fined for breach of radiation rules

By Peter Tremayne A company in Cornwall has been fined after putting its employees at risk of exposure to ionising radiation over a ten-year period. Terrill Bros. (Founders) Limited,...

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...

Cornwall Council plans to sell “outdated” care homes – promising to build new ones

By Richard Whitehouse Cornwall Council is set to sell two care homes so that new modern care homes can be built in their place.  The council had taken over...

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...

Rebuke for council cabinet health chief who said “there is plenty of money in the NHS locally”

By Richard Whitehouse Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for health and social care was left with egg on his face after erroneously claiming that the head of Cornwall’s health commissioning...

Mind the gap: health bosses say it pays to be rich if you want to live longer

By Richard Whitehouse Men living in the most affluent areas of Cornwall will live for more than seven years longer than those living in the poorest parts of Cornwall....

Trengweath hospital, Redruth, to be converted to care homes

By Richard Whitehouse A decision is set to be made next week on plans to demolish a former hospital and replace it with a new residential care home.  A...

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...

Launceston leisure centre is back and under new management

By Anne North Launceston’s leisure centre reopened this morning (Thursday) after a three-week break caused by the failure of Cornwall Council’s main operator, GLL, to fulfil its 25-year contract....

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....

County Hall’s “Code of Conduct” rules are bizarre – why I can’t say sorry

By Colin Martin Yesterday morning (Thursday), Cornwall Council’s Standards Committee voted to give me a written censure for failing to apologise to the Cabinet Member for Social Care for...

Councillor censured for “#Virrout” campaign

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall councillor Colin Martin has been censured by County Hall’s standards committee for failing to apologise for a social media campaign suggesting that cabinet member Andy...

Lib Dem councillor ordered to say sorry to Tory cabinet member now faces censure

By Richard Whitehouse A Cornwall councillor could face censure after failing to apologise for calling on a council cabinet member to quit his job as a hospital consultant. Liberal...

Cornwall’s main hospital wants to build its own housing for staff to rent

By Richard Whitehouse Cornwall’s main hospital trust is planning to build new accommodation for staff struggling to find somewhere affordable to live. Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) has submitted...

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...

Rise in numbers waiting for care assessments

By Richard Whitehouse More than 1,000 people in Cornwall are waiting for an assessment for adult social care after a rise in demand for services. The health and social...

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...

Thousands of homes in Cornwall at risk of damp and mould problems

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Thousands of privately rented homes in Cornwall are potentially vulnerable to the sort of cold and damp conditions which led to the death of a two-year-old...

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...

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...

County Hall steps in to take over failing care companies

By Richard Whitehouse Two companies which provide care at home for elderly and vulnerable people across Cornwall have failed, leading Cornwall Council to step in and take over. Four...

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...

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...

Cornwall’s hospital waiting lists soar

By Richard Whitehouse Thousands of people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are stuck on waiting lists for non-urgent treatments with some waiting as long as two years....

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...

EXCLUSIVE: Cornwall Council only learned about asylum seekers at Newquay hotel from media inquiries

By Peter Tremayne Cornwall Council, which has statutory responsibilities for social care and public health, only learned of Home Office plans to house asylum seekers in a Newquay hotel...

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...