Health Minister Jeremy Hunt says transforming GP services is key to the future of the NHS.
Commenting during a visit to a pharmacy in Newquay Mr Hunt said:
The biggest single change I want to see is a transformation of services through our GP services, we want to recruit 5000 more GP's, and basically if the NHS is going to be sustainable we need to invest in prevention not cure.
We need to tackle things like diabetes before they start to get serious, before people need timely and expensive treatment at places like the Royal Cornwall.
The minister pledged an extra £8 billion a year to be pumped into the NHS by the end of the next parliament.
During his brief visit to Cornwall Mr Hunt was given a tour of Kayes Pharmacy at Narrowcliff in Newquay.
The minister is calling for pharmacies to play a greater role in the health care system to take pressure off busy A&E departments.
I saw something today which I haven't seen elsewhere in the country but I think is a sign of things to come, where they're actually able at this pharmacy to access peoples GP record.
That's very significant because it means they can come and get advice perhaps on a Saturday when the GP service was closed and they can look up what their allergies are, perhaps see they've had a stroke, and then give them much better clinical advice.
The Royal Cornwall Hospital has downgraded from black to red alert.
Bosses said the system remains under pressure, but the situation has improved and a decision was made to step down to red status.
A seven-day control centre in Truro remains in place where staff are continuing to create stability in the system and respond to pressures using real time information.
A significant number of people still go to A&E departments when there are other services that would better suit their health needs.Read the full story ›
NHS Kernow says although services remain very busy the situation is continuing to improve.
Managing Director of the trust, Joy Youart, says she is hopeful they will be able to step down from black alert soon and continue to encourage the public to attend the most appropriate place for care.
Local health and care services remain very busy, but the situation continues to improve, and this has now been the case for several days.
Partners in the local system are working closely together to maintain the positive momentum, which will enable us to step down from the current ‘black’ status, when appropriate.
We are currently seeing fewer admissions to Royal Cornwall Hospital, with improved patient flow and discharge to care or home settings with the right packages of care.
The Chief Executive of Plymouth Hospitals will host a live chat on Twitter next week.
Ann James will answer questions from patients, members of the public and staff using the hashtag #AskAnn.
The chat will happen on Wednesday April 15 between 5.30 and 6.30pm.
Health services in Cornwall remain on black alert this morning.
Around 40 patients at the Royal Cornwall Hospital are waiting to be discharged with non-essential operations cancelled over the weekend.
Extra doctors have been working in A and E and the urgent care centre in Redruth at Camborne Redruth Community Hospital has been open longer to alleviate pressure.
Health trust managers will be meeting later at 10.30 am to review the situation.
The parents of a five-year-old boy from Devon have fulfilled his dying wish by getting married at his bedside at Bristol Children's Hospital.
Corey Edwards passed away last night, but not before seeing his mum and dad make history. Craig and Jemma Edwards tied the knot last week after being given special permission so that Corey, who had a severe heart condition, could be part of their day.
Nick Clegg has told ITV West Country he "can't believe" the Conservatives regard the difference between three and four nuclear submarines is the most important issue facing nation.
ITV News caught up with the Lib Dem leader as he visited Bodmin Hospital this morning. The full interview will broadcast on ITV News West Country later.
Royal Cornwall Hospital has been placed on Black Alert for the second time this year as it struggles to deal with high numbers of patients and a lack of beds.
Managers at the hospital say a hectic Easter forced them to escalate the alert level - it means the hospital is one level down from having to close.
ITV's Kylie Pentelow spoke to Andy Virr Director of Emergency Medicine from the hospital.
The clinical commissioning group for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has released the following statement after it emerged that the Royal Cornwall Hospital was on "black alert" and dealing with unprecedented demand
There is currently high demand on services in the local health and social care system.
Our number one priority is to ensure patients receive high quality and safe care.
Partners in the local health and social care system are monitoring the situation and are working closely together to cope with the demand.
Mr Stokes said that unnecessary trips to A&E put a strain on NHS resources, and that everyone has a part to play in keeping hospital departments free for those with genuine medical emergencies.
He added "We’re encouraging people to think about the most appropriate place to go for treatment if they become unwell as the local A&E is very busy."
"If you do fall ill, there are a range of local NHS services to help you make the right choice about where to go for health advice or the right treatment."
- The NHS 111 service for non-emergency medical help. Available 24 hours a day, staffed by fully trained advisors and experienced clinicians.
- Walk-in Centre for treatment of cuts, bruises, minor infections, stomach upsets, strains and skin complaints, without an appointment. Open 8am-8pm
- Out of hours GP service call 111
- Minor injuries units for ailments like cuts and sprains
- Urgent Care Centres deliver GP-led urgent care services treating minor to moderate injuries and illnesses without an appointment
- Pharmacists are experts in providing medical information and advice, including coughs, colds, and minor ailments