Health chiefs at the region's biggest hospital have issued a grim warning that they may not be able to meet growing demands from patients as they struggle to make cutbacks.
Plymouth's Derriford Hospital needs to chop £12 million from its budget. But that will still leave it short of £33 million next year.
As John Andrews reports, its not the only one of the region's hospitals feeling the pinch.
Plymouth's Derriford Hospital has revealed its deficit is expected to grow to £33million.
In the last financial year it was just under £5million - but today the Board will hear that a loss of one-off sources of funding and underspends not continuing have contributed to the expected increase.
Derriford Hospital finally has its new helipad. After seven months' work the letter H has been painted on, which signals it's ready for action. The official launch is on Friday June 5.
Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has reported two so-called 'never events' so far this year.
One involved a swab being left in a patient, while another saw a wrong-sided prosthesis fitted. A third never event was also reported from 2010, where a patient returned to hospital having had surgery on the wrong site.
A 'never event' is described as a "serious safety incident". The Trust has apologised for both cases.
All three incidents have been fully reported and are the subject of comprehensive investigations.
We have apologised personally to the patients affected and we are extremely sorry that these mistakes have happened.
Our staff work extremely hard to care for patients and no-one comes to work to cause harm. We see and treat nearly half a million patients per year and, for hundreds of thousands of people, their investigations and treatment go well and they report being highly satisfied with their care.
But as our staff are human, very occasionally mistakes happen and things do not go as planned.
When mistakes happen it’s essential that we’re open and honest about them with the patients affected and the public and, importantly, that we use them as learning opportunities to help us improve our services and make them safer.
In 2013 the hospital reported five never events. In 2014, they reported one.
West Country hospitals are being fined millions for failing to meet targets.
A&E waiting times and ambulance handover deadlines are among the problems which have cost Devon hospitals over £6.5m and the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, which has a £7m deficit, over a million pounds.
The nationally agreed targets are set every year by NHS England. Local clinical commissioning groups hold the hospitals to account by levying fines, reinvesting the money into schemes to improve services.
Derriford Hospital in Plymouth was charged £4.8 million, but received half back in compensation.
In 2014/15, we paid fines of £4.8m. We received £2.89m in compensation.
In recognition of the exceptional emergency pressures faced by the Trust, commissioners agreed to compensate the trust financially for a loss of income for planned operations that were unable to be undertaken and that emergency activity was costing more than the 50% of tariff paid.
NHS England required fines for performance to be applied by commissioners.
Three people have been taken to hospital after fire crews rescued them from a house fire in Plymouth.
The fire started on the ground floor of a house in Chaddlewood Avenue in St Judes early this morning.
The woman and two men were trapped upstairs. They were rescued from a first floor window and taken to the city's Derriford Hospital suffering from severe smoke inhalation.
Derriford Hospital spent nearly £2 million on over time and agency staff in just one month as it coped with huge demand due to its black alert status.
For the first three months of this year the Plymouth hospital declared black alert as it dealt with what it describes as "unprecedented and sustained" demand.
As people will know, we faced a significant period of unprecedented and sustained demand on our emergency and medical services, which impacted right across the hospital.
During this time, on numerous occasions, we put out internal and public appeals to our staff to ask if they would work extra shifts and offering overtime, to enable us to meet the pressures we faced and to ensure our patients continued to be well cared for. Our staff responded admirable during these difficult times.
It was also necessary for us to have a flexible temporary workforce resource during this time. We did this by redeploying staff and utilising NHS Professionals (our supplier of bank staff) and where these options were not available to us then, as an absolute last resort, we used agency staff.
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.
Hundreds of teenagers from Devon are taking part in a national meningitis study conducted by specialist nurses at Derriford Hospital.
The age group are particularly at risk from the disease. 18,000 teenagers are involved in the study nationally.
ITV West Country have been given exclusive access at one of our biggest hospitals to see how it's coping with the bed-blocking crisis.Read the full story ›