Health bosses refused to guarantee the long term future of Falmouth Hospital at a packed public meeting on Monday.

Up to 200 people turned out for the meeting which was held to discuss the impact NHS cuts will have on the area and the local NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

The STP, a proposed five year plan for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, aims to find ways to save £254m by better management of funds and "rethinking the way we view care."

Proposals in the STP include combining current care providers and reducing time spent in hospitals, but even with these proposals the NHS representatives could not guarantee the future of Falmouth Hospital.

Garth Davies, associate director of communications and engagement at Royal Hospital Treliske, said: “We can’t make any guarantees but we want to hear people's views about how we can best use the money we have in the community.

“We’ve been working on this since early 2016, and have looked at what we need to do. We have some fantastic services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, however we also know that we are not achieving best outcomes in some areas. The other thing we know is that the NHS and health and social care is over stretched.

“On that note we think we have an outdated model of care, which is very bed based with not enough energy focused on community services and prevention. This has led to the financial challenges we face now and we know if we do nothing over the next five years we will have a £254m deficit.

“Our job is that we have to deliver within the budget that we have. We know this is a challenge we have to face, and we have to work within that budget that’s been allocated. We can do better by integrating organisations to improve the way we provide care.”

Peter Stokes, chief operating officer of Kernow Health, added: “The debate is around how we deliver care services in the county, and we would ask that people think differently about the way we deliver care in the community.

“We want to have a communication with the public, if we’re not delivering great care then we should think about how to do that differently. It’s not about the money, our community hospital estate is not fit for purpose. The whole notion of how we deliver care needs to be reconsidered.

“We know that people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly feel passionately about their community hospitals, but we are going to have to think about the services which are delivered from specific sites.

“We’re not doing a consistent job. The minor injuries units across the area open at different times and provide different services, it’s a real patchwork quilt for minor injury care provided across the county and we have to do something about that.”

But some members of the public who attended the meeting were not satisfied, and viewed the meeting as a waste of time. To raucous applause, one man interrupted the proceedings to say: “The problem is that we know all that, everything you are telling us and everything in this document 90 per cent of people already know about.

“The problem is that the NHS is underfunded, and to say that we need to save £254m from an over-stretched NHS is ridiculous.”

While David Culling, 75, said: “Why do we keep bunging all this money overseas when we’re having problems at home? None of us in this room are as aware as you about the problem and what can be done, to get our advice is like the blind leading the blind.

“These changes you are suggesting should have been made 15-years ago. The stable door has been open too long, the horses have already bolted.”

Greg Underwood, 31, a care-home manager, said: “There is no change, everything they have been saying has been said for ten years. I haven’t heard one thing about how they are going to save the money. I think these meetings are needed, but it’s not the best way to do it.”

Rachel Harris, 45, a mental health recovery support worker, said: “I was a bit overwhelmed that there was so much hostility in the room, it felt like a fracas and that put me off a bit. I know people feel passionate about this, but our input got over-washed with talk of money and budgets rather than solutions.”

Allan Cooke, 78, said: “There is no simple solution to the funding problem, but lets not knock it, let's solve it. If you get knocked down by a car the hospital will take you in. People focus on the bad points of our care service and not the good, we should try to remember what we have.”

Falmouth's MP Sarah Newton, said: “The future of the NHS is the number one issue for my constituents. I think they’re right to focus on rethinking the way we do health and social care in Cornwall, for a long time I have been pressing for the joining up of health and social care in Cornwall.

“Other parts of the country have made good progress in doing this and have better outcomes for patients. I'm hoping as a result of the STP, that Cornwall Council and the NHS in Cornwall actually get on and deliver the proposals they have been working on for a long time.

“Representing my constituents, I want to be clear that I want people to have a better experience of the health care system, which will mean people getting treated closer to home and more access to GP practices.

“I'm surprised that they couldn't guarantee the future of Falmouth hospital, I’ve never been given any indication that the hospital would close. The minor injuries unit is well used and takes the pressure of people going to accident and emergency.

“At the moment there is an upgrade programme going on at Falmouth Hospital, and I’d be surprised if they were to close a hospital they have been investing money in. The reason they might not want to be categorical is because it was a consultation, and you can't rule things out. Having not been there myself it's not possible for me to say.”