Worries about St Michaels Hospital Hayle 2015
ELECTIVE SERVICES TENDERING
Naturally we welcome the news that NHS Kernow has put "on pause" their plans to put some elective services out to tender. The loss of such a contract would indeed have threatened St Michael's ability to maintain its excellent service, so valued across the county. NHS Kernow is indeed correct in stating that "competitive procurement will not deliver what is needed".
However, we must respond with some caution, because nothing these days can be considered 'permanent', and the situation could change after the General Election. There are two other, related, issues which cause us concern:
1. We know that NHS Kernow are planning to transfer millions of pounds from the acute budget into community services. A reduction of this magnitude in the RCHT budget will place an additional financial burden on RCHT and may well make its Board reconsider the role of St Michaels in service delivery
2. We learn from NHS Kernow's recent Board papers that they have just given £2.5m to the private sector to treat 780 patients from RCHT's waiting lists in the couple of months up to 31st March. Again, this represents a loss of income to RCHT, and we are saddened that St Michael's was not given the opportunity to carry out this work - particularly as its current occupancy levels are just 42%, so there is plenty of capacity to treat patients in Hayle
So our response to this pause in procurement is of cautious consolation, but we hope it will not prove to be a 'false dawn'.