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"Everyone has a part to play" in helping NHS cope with demand

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.

– Peter Stokes, Director for Integrated Communities at NHS Kernow

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

Royal Cornwall Hospital back on "black alert"

The hospital faced unprecedented demand over the bank holiday weekend.

Royal Cornwall Hospital is back on "black alert" status following extreme pressures over the Easter weekend.

Black alert is a hospital’s highest escalation level, where services are overwhelmed by high demand and staff struggle to admit and discharge patients.

People are asked not to go to the A&E in Treliske unless they are in urgent need of care.

Statement from the hospital to follow.

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Virtual reality could improve doctors' bedside manner

The doctors are put in the shoes of a man being rushed to A&E.

Virtual reality is helping doctors at Torbay Hospital literally see what it's like to be a patient.

The special software being pioneered at the hospital simulates a man with chest pains being rushed to A&E - and puts doctors in his shoes. One medic found seeing his own bedside manner a shocking experience.

The programme can be used to help trainee doctors and nurses. While bedside manner and compassion is hard to teach, seeing how frightening being in hospital can be for a patient could become a valuable tool to help them improve.

Special goggles put the doctor inside the simulation, seeing what the patient would see.

Is the West's healthcare in crisis?

All our major hospitals in the region remain on a heightened state of alert tonight as they approach one of the busiest Bank Holidays of the year.

Demand for frontline services and beds is continuing to place immense strain on the system - and all this as healthcare remains one of the top-three election issues in voters minds.

Kathy Wardle reports

ITV's Robert Murphy raised these issues with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who was on the campaign trail in Yeovil this afternoon.

Royal Cornwall Hospital on brink of highest alert over beds shortage

Red alert: the Royal Cornwall Hospital Credit: ITV News West Country

The Royal Cornwall Hospital is on the brink of its highest alert little over a month after its last beds crisis. The hospital in Truro has told ITV News it is on "red alert, on standby for black" as it approaches the busy Easter weekend.

Black alert is the highest alert level, meaning the hospital is unable to provide enough beds for patients who need them

"We always plan for bank holiday periods in advance, we have put in additional investment to secure extra doctors, extra nurses and extra consultants in our A&E department and we've also put in additional care home placements to allow people to flow and leave the hospital as soon as they can."

– Tryphaena Doyle, NHS Kernow

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Devon girl gets 3D printed hand

The life of a little girl in Devon has been transformed after advances in technology allowed her to receive an new hand, printed on a 3D printer.

Four-year-old Abbi Jillians now has a specially adapted hand which was just a fraction of the cost of an NHS prosthetic one.

It all started with a conversation Abbi's mum, Julie, had with her mother.

Abbi's mum was helped by the Enabling the Future organisation and is fundraising to provide schools with 3D printers - click here for link.

Chemotheraphy unit opens in North Devon after four-year community campaign

A Devon community fundraised for four years so cancer patients could have better facilities. Credit: ITV News

After four years of fund raising North Devon's new Chemotherapy unit will open later on today.

The centre at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple has been paid for by the community at a cost of more than £2 million.

Cancer patients will now have more spacious facilities. Credit: ITV News

It'll provide patients with their own purpose-built unit. Up until now cancer patients had to cope in cramped facilities or travel elsewhere for treatment.

The centre is based at North Devon District Hospital. Credit: ITV News

PICTURES: Protest at privatisation of services at Royal Cornwall Hospital

More than 100 protesters gathered outside of the Royal Cornwall Hospital this morning to protest against the privatisation of services.

They handed in an 8,000 signature petition to be handed to the board.

More than 100 protesters gathered to protest against the privatisation of services Credit: ITV News
Protesters They handed in an 8,000 signature petition to be handed to the board Credit: ITV News
More than 100 protesters gathered to protest against the privatisation of services Credit: ITV News
Protesters They handed in an 8,000 signature petition to be handed to the board Credit: ITV News
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