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TV spotlight shines on WCH

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

  • West Cornwall Hospital l-r Emma Sage staff nurse, Becky Quinn staff nurse, Neil Davidson doctor and Louise Silver acting matron. PZPM20140224A-001_C.JPG

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THE staff who run West Cornwall Hospital's Urgent Care Centre are doubling up as TV stars as they take centre-stage on a national programme.

BBC One's Countryside 999 is being screened every weekday at 11am for the next two and a half weeks, focusing on the challenges health services face in delivering serious and emergency healthcare in rural areas.

Urgent care centre manager Sister Louise Silver said: "Previous series have concentrated on Scotland but last summer they approached us about seeing what we get up to. We didn't have to do it, and a couple of our staff declined to be on the programme, but the rest of us couldn't sign up fast enough."

Filming took place last August and September, a time of year when the number of people being seen at the Urgent Care Centre doubles from the average of 30 to 50 a day treated there during the rest of the year.

"I think the programme was interested in seeing the sort of treatments which are pretty normal for us – like surfing and fishing injuries or weever fish stings – but not usual for the rest of the country," she said.

"The programme also shows us treating people who have been injured or hurt themselves because they've been partying too hard on their holidays."

And as well as being enjoyed by the 20 or so nurses, eight doctors and reception staff who took part in the programme, Sister Silver said Countryside 999 was fulfilling a more important purpose by helping to spread the word to a national audience about West Cornwall Hospital's Urgent Care Centre, launched in June 2012.

"Before that – mainly because we were unable to attract doctors and anaesthetists to work here but also because more services are rightfully becoming more specialised and centralised – West Cornwall Hospital had been downgraded to not much more than a minor injuries unit," said Sister Silver.

"Being invited to appear on the programme was a big accolade for us and we have also had a number of visits from other health trusts around the country who have been keen to find out what work we do here at West Cornwall."

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