Rheumatology relocation raises concerns in Cornwall

Patients suffering with arthritis, muscle and joint pain will struggle to access support if services relocate in Cornwall, says UNISON today (Thursday).

Health unions at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) are concerned about the impact that moving rheumatology services to Truro Health Park from the main hospital site will have on patients.

UNISON has also raised concerns about the lack of engagement with the staff who provide the service who have not been asked for their views, despite the Trust knowing about these plans for over a year.

UNISON area organiser Michael Auguste said: “Managers at the Trust don’t appear to have given any thought to the impact that the move will have on staff or patients. There’s not very much car parking available in Truro and this could make it virtually impossible for anyone with mobility issues to attend the new clinic.

“To make matter worse the bus service to the health park from the town centre is irregular at best. Although other buses pass close by, patients need to be fit and healthy enough to walk, and be prepared to cross a busy road. Many people with arthritis and joint problems simply can’t do that.

“We don’t think the Trust has thought through its plans properly. Managers should think again and listen to our concerns about what the move will mean for patients using the clinic and for the staff who work there.”