Patients in Cornwall died after waiting too long for heart treatment, while others were left to go blind, according to a damning report.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found patients waiting too long for treatment and suffering harm as a result, operations being cancelled, including for cancer, patients with sepsis not receiving antibiotics in time and a sewage problem in a bathroom not being dealt with for more than three years.
The CQC has recommended that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust be placed in special measures after they found services were failing across several departments, including surgery, maternity and cardiology.
In cardiology, from December 2016 to June 2017, 554 patients suffered delays while waiting for appointments, the CQC inspection report said.
Inspectors added: “We were informed of two patients who had died of cardiac related causes while delayed on the waiting list.
“While it is not possible to say the deaths were directly linked to the delay, the trust reported it was highly likely.”
Inspectors also found a backlog of around 150 heart monitoring tapes going back to March that had still not been reviewed.
This backlog was a “particular risk because if any cardiac anomalies were present in the tapes, the patient would remain unaware of this”, inspectors said.
Full story in The Independent, 5 October 2017