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Private hospital firm 'unfit for purpose'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 14, 2012

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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.

"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'."

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  • Trurolady  |  November 15 2012, 7:07AM

    This so called private company is a branch of our own NHS and Council.It is a not for profit company, a Community Interest Company. It is just a reshuffle of our public sector under another umbrella. Better it was an open tendering process to run these community hospitals and not another under the table deal. This company is purely jobs for the boys.

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  • josdave  |  November 14 2012, 1:22PM

    Private companies will always put shareholders before the customers. We have seen that with the utilities(SWW a classic example), the rail network and now health care. Why should we be surprised? The only surprise is that the governments (of both parties) have not seen fit to reverse the privatisation trend for the benefit of the consumer. I thought they were (as they claim to be) public servants. Obviously not.

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  • beaujester  |  November 14 2012, 12:56PM

    ^ Shock Horror - Public sector = gravy train, high saalries and expensive pensions paid for by the taxpayer...

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  • ackedoff  |  November 14 2012, 12:56PM

    Oh dear and this is an organisation chosen by Cornwall Council to take over some of Adult Social Care services! I find it very difficult to understand how in a county with high unemployment they are finding it hard to recruite, i wonder if its more to do wirh running hospitals on a shoe string and reduced staffing levels? Got any elderly or vulnerable relatives?? Be afraid be very afraid!

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  • twain1  |  November 14 2012, 9:43AM

    Privatisation ''not fit for purpose.'' Also revealed today, ''the pope wears a silly hat''

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