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South West families head to Westminster to demand more support for victims of contaminated blood

People in our region will launch a protest at plans to support victims of the contaminated blood scanda Credit: ITV News

The victims of contaminated blood and their families are in Westminster today to protest against Government plans to reform their financial support.

Around 6000 people across the country were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from blood products given by the NHS during the 1970s and 80s.

There are calls in the House of Commons for more support for contaminated blood victims Credit: PA

Many of those affected were haemophiliacs - born with a condition which means that their blood does not clot properly, meaning any bleeding incident could potentially be fatal.

The protest comes ahead of a major Parliamentary debate this afternoon.

Royal Cornwall Hospital on Black Alert

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust is on Black Alert Credit: PA

Royal Cornwall Hospital is on Black Alert as high demand puts local health and social care system under major pressure.

Local Accident and Emergency remains extremely busy with large numbers of very sick, frail and elderly patients needing urgent care and patient flow remains slow through the system. This is likely to continue in the coming weeks.

Local people are encouraged to ‘do their bit’ to reduce pressure on the local system by choosing the most appropriate service for their needs and avoiding A&E for everything except genuine, life-threatening emergencies.

The local health and social care system remains under significant and concerted pressure. We are coping with this pressure, but are issuing a ‘call to action’ asking people to think hard about whether they can self-care and treat the symptoms themselves or to consider the most appropriate service for their need.

The local system is extremely busy and we can all play our part in minimising the impact of this. Every correct decision made by people about self-care or where to be seen helps to free up the system to prioritise the most serious cases quickly and improve patient flow.

Pitching up at A&E inappropriately puts a huge and unnecessary strain on the local NHS. It is not a place for ‘conditions’ like broken finger nails, sore throats, hangovers or minor cuts and bruises which have been seen there in the past.

A&E is for serious and life-threatening conditions like chest pain, stroke, severe abdominal pain, severe bleeding or breathing difficulties, major broken bones and serious head injuries. In a life threatening situation, don’t hesitate – call 999 or attend A&E. Our focus is to prioritise the safe delivery of emergency care to those who are most in need.

– Dr Iain Chorlton, Chairman of NHS Kernow


Extra ambulances to cope with Easter demand

Credit: PA

More than 700 extra ambulance staff have been hired this weekend to cope with predicted record levels of 999 calls.

15,000 incidents are expected

The South West Ambulance Service is putting on an extra eighteen ambulances every day over the Easter break. Health bosses are urging people to avoid A&E unless absolutely necessary.

With extra staff on duty, around the clock, we're ready. But the truth is, we have a finite number of ambulances and highly-trained staff available. This means we will, as always, focus on those patients with a life-threatening condition.

– Ken Wenman, Chief Executive, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
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