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Most hospitals fail to meet A&E waiting targets

Ambulances waiting outside A&E Credit: ITV News

Hospitals in the west country fell short of Government targets for dealing with emergency patients within four hours. The figures from the week up to 15 February show that only Yeovil District Hospital met the 95% target.

  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust - 73.7%
  • Plymouth Hospitals Trust (Derriford Hosp) - 78.2%
  • South Devon Healthcare Trust (Torbay Hosp) - 80.2%
  • Royal Devon & Exeter Trust - 89.9%
  • Dorset County Hospital Trust - 90.6%
  • Northern Devon Healthcare Trust (North Devon Hosp) - 91.9%
  • Taunton & Somerset Trust (Musgrove Park Hosp) - 94.8%
  • Yeovil District Hospital Trust - 95.1%

Beds crisis continues at Royal Cornwall Hospital

Five operations had to be cancelled today because of the pressure on beds at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Credit: ITV News

The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro says it will stay on black alert until Monday due to chronic bed shortages.

A spokesman confirmed there are still 70 patients awaiting discharge. Five operations were cancelled today because of a lack of beds.

A spare 'escalation ward', which opened yesterday to cope with high demand, remains full.

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Extra training for police call handlers

Police call handlers are being given extra training to help them deal with distressed callers Credit: PA

Devon and Cornwall police call handlers are being given extra training to deal with suicidal callers.

It follows an increase in the number of distraught callers threatening to harm themselves.

It is aimed at giving the staff a better understanding and knowledge so they can deal with difficult phone conversations.

Royal Cornwall Hospital opens extra wards in bed crisis

The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro has opened two 'escalation wards' to house a backlog of patients awaiting discharge.

The hospital declared a black level alert due to bed shortages and was forced to cancel 18 operations this morning.

A spokesperson told ITV News that 70 patients had been discharged yesterday, and a further 75 were due to be discharged today.

The spokesperson also confirmed that 25 patients had been moved to escalation wards as an interim solution.

Escalation wards are spare wards which are often opened in the winter to cope with high levels of patients.

Royal Cornwall Hospital has opened two 'escalation wards' to cope with a backlog of patients Credit: ITV News

Could GPs do more for mental health issues?

Healthwatch Cornwall says people who go to GPs with mental health problems should be getting more help Credit: PA

More support should be given to people who visit their GP with mental health issues.

That is according to a survey of patients by Healthwatch Cornwall which found more than half felt they had not been offered a choice of treatment and a quarter believed they weren't referred to a suitable organisation.

Royal Cornwall Hospital declares a 'significant incident'

Royal Cornwall Hospital has asked only urgent patients go to its A&E Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Royal Cornwall Hospital has declared a major incident after struggling to admit and discharge patients. The hospital in Treliske is warning people to stay away unless they are in urgent need of care.

It is hoped the move will help medical staff focus on the sickest patients in the hospital.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals are extremely busy right now with difficulties admitting and discharging patients.

To ensure that we can continue to provide high quality and safe care, the health and social care partners in Cornwall have declared a significant incident to respond to pressure on services.

To help doctors and nurses focus on the sickest patients please only use the Emergency Department in Truro if you are in urgent need of care and attention. Alternative support and services are available by calling NHS 111.

– Royal Cornwall Hospitals

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New GP out-of-hours service for Cornwall

A new GP out of hours service is set to be rolled out in Cornwall this summer after private company Serco decided not to rebid for the contract.

A consortium of family doctors called Cornwall Health is due to take over the service from June 1.

We are delighted that a team of doctors and nurses will provide Cornwall’s new out of hours’ service. They know first-hand what patients need, what works and what we need to do to create a joined-up health and care system.

– Dr Iain Chorlton, NHS Kernow’s GP lead for out-of-hours

As previously announced Serco decided not to rebid for the opportunity to deliver the Cornwall Out of Hours GP service and our contract with NHS Kernow will cease on 31st May2015.

For some time now we have been delivering a high quality service that meets all of our contractual obligations and the service consistently achieves an independently assessed patient satisfaction score of 95% or above.

We will continue to deliver the high level of service the people of Cornwall rightly expect and deserve until the end of May and we will work closely with NHS Kernow and Cornwall Health to ensure a safe and effective transition.

– Stephanie Gray-Roberts, Serco’s Contract Director for the Cornwall Out of Hours GP service

New Cancer drug could put an end to chemotherapy

Professor Simon Rule trialled the new drug, Imbruvica, at Derriford hospital Credit: ITV News

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital is at the forefront of revolutionary new research that could see chemotherapy treatment for Cancer become a thing of the past.

A new drug that is giving patients their lives back has just become available on the NHS. It's credited with transforming the lives of patients with a rare form of blood cancer.

Tune in tonight at 6pm to see the full story.

New cancer drug approved after Plymouth trial

A Plymouth consultant is the first in Europe to prescribe a new alternative to chemotherapy for certain types of blood cancer.

Professor Simon Rule trialled the new drug, Imbruvica, at Derriford hospital.

It has now been approved for use across the NHS as part of the Cancer Drugs Fund.

We were the first people to use this drug in Europe here in Plymouth and we treated thirteen patients and the thing that struck us very early was that the patients all responded and there were no side effects and that's not something you expect, you normally expect to get effects with at least some side effects and these drugs really are remarkably side effect free.

– PROFESSOR SIMON RULE, Consultant Haematologist at Derriford Hospital/Plymouth University
Imbruvica was trialled at Derriford hospital.
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