Medical 'incident' at Cornwall children's units

Three children's units in Cornwall have been independently reviewed after a "serious medical incident" at one, Cornwall's NHS has confirmed.

The units - in Liskeard, Redruth and Camborne - are run by the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The review came to light at a Cornwall Council meeting on Thursday. No details of the incident have been published.

It recommended better access for the units to paediatric specialists and improved staff training.

Physical complications

The units involved were Layland at Liskeard, Gwendower in Redruth and Royston in Camborne, which are all operated by the partnership trust on behalf of the Cornwall NHS Primary Care Trust.

The units offer short residential breaks to children aged between three and 18, with two catering for children with complex health needs and one accommodating children with "challenging behaviour".

Phil Confue, the acting chief executive of the partnership, said the incident was about a "medical complication".

He said: "It was about how we responded to this medical condition.

"The short-break schemes have nurses on duty, but not doctors on duty.

"We need to make sure that if we are dealing with children who have a lot of physical complications that we respond in the right way and the safest way."

Conscientious staff

He added: "There was no issue about any other kind of risks to children."

The review involved discussions with children and parents and inspections of the units.

The report mentioned that conscientious and dedicated staff were committed to meeting the needs of children and young people.

However, recommended improvements, which have been adopted at the units, included gaining better access to specialist paediatric nursing and a drive to make sure staff were aware of policies and procedures.

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