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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 13:57 GMT
Police back-up cut from hospital
Royal Cornwall Hospital
Police officers are needed to control abusive patients
A Cornwall hospital is to stop employing two police officers who are on-site to help protect staff.

Two full-time officers who provide back-up to 24-hour security at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske are to leave in July.

The move comes as part of the hospital trust's attempts to reduce a 31m predicted deficit.

A trust spokesman said they were confident they could continue to provide a safe hospital environment.

'Disappointing'

Two officers have been stationed at Treliske for almost seven years.

About 65,000-a-year will be saved by cutting of their posts.

Superintendent John Green said the decision was not surprising as the hospital was under "significant financial pressure".

He said: "Security staff do an excellent job there and are in effective communication with us if things do come up.

"We will continue to try and work with the hospital and we will still look to maintain some sort of presence."

The presence of a policemen usually calms people down. I think we need that presence there at all times
Gordon Swindell, Royal Cornwall Hospital Patient's Forum

Gordon Swindell, vice chairman of the hospital's patient forum, said: "I am very disappointed. The presence of a policemen usually calms people down. I think we need that presence there at all times.

"We will be informing them [the trust] that we are displeased by what they have done."

Malcolm Dunstan, an ex-policeman who served three years at the hospital in Treliske, said police officers were needed at the hospital to prevent assaults and verbal abuse by people who do not want to wait for help.

Sue Matthews, from the Royal College of Nursing, said visible policing had been a "great asset, particularly in the acute areas in the accident and emergency departments".

A statement issued by the trust said: "The trust's security service provides us with a team of trained individuals, with a minimum of two security guards providing round the clock cover at the hospital; acting as a deterrent, responding to urgent situations and liaising with the police where incidents require further action or arrest."




SEE ALSO
Hospital Pc's future under threat
20 Dec 06 |  Cornwall
Hewitt says hospital to stay open
14 Nov 06 |  Cornwall
Hospital bosses plan 7m savings
07 Nov 06 |  Cornwall
Watchdog warns of ward closures
27 Oct 06 |  Cornwall

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