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Royal Cornwall Hospital back on Black Alert

Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Credit: ITV West Country

The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro is back on black alert status - for the third time this year.

Patients are being urged to use alternative services and avoid A & E unless they need urgent care. Family and friends collecting patients are being asked to do so as quickly as possible to free up more beds.

A black alert was also declared on the 8th and 22nd of January.

Andrew MacCallum, Chief Executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust says there have been delays in transfer of care.

We have seen significant demand on our hospitals in the past 24 hours with high numbers of emergency patient admissions and delayed transfers of care.

We are currently on a black bed status and have asked for additional support from our partner organisations and GPs to accelerate patient discharges, including the delivery of social care packages for patients ready to leave hospital.

– Andrew MacCallum

THINK BEFORE VISITING A&E

In the meantime the RCHT is urging patients who don't need emergency care to use other services like GP's and pharmacies to help ease the pressure.

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Royal Cornwall Hospital declares 'Black Alert' over high demand

The Royal Cornwall Hospital has gone into its highest state of alert because of high demand on its services.

It's the first time this year the hospital has gone onto black alert, which means there aren't enough beds to cope with admissions.

At this stage it just applies to the hospital trust, not the wider health care system in Cornwall.

In response to this the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has implemented its 'significant internal incident plan'.

We are in communication with our partner organisations and GPs to support patient discharge plans including the delivery of social care packages for patients ready to leave hospital.

– Andrew MacCallum, Chief Executive

The alert means extra staff may be brought in, and some non urgent operations could be cancelled.

A hospital spokesperson told ITV News it is difficult to know how long the black alert will be in place, but it's reviewing the situation every few hours.

THINK BEFORE VISITING A&E

In the meantime the RCHT is urging patients who don't need emergency care to use other services like GP's and pharmacies to help ease the pressure.

WHAT DOES BLACK ALERT MEAN?

This is the highest level of alert, which usually means bed capacity has been reached and that patients arriving at A&E will have to be taken to another hospital. Sometimes routine operations will be cancelled to free up bed space.

NHS England classifies a black alert as a "serious incident". It means the system is under severe pressure and is unable to deliver certain actions and comprehensive emergency care.

It also means there is potential for emergency care and safety to be compromised. Decisive action must be taken to restore the hospital's capacity and ensure patient safety.

Health watchdog calls for urgent improvements at RCH

The inspectors found inadequate staffing at the Emergency Department Credit: ITV News

Managers of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust have been ordered to make urgent improvements to protect the safety of patients.

The Care Quality Commission found staffing levels inadequate at times in its emergency department during an inspection in June.

Surgery was rated good, but inspectors also found wards full with patients waiting for support systems to be arranged.

The hospital says is is already making improvements.

We have to accept the findings. They came at a time when we had particular issues with flow out of the department and they're right, that's not a great mix, having too many patients in the department and not enough staff can potentially raise safety concerns.

That was the key finding that we were reflecting on here in the Emergency Department. We're now moving to have 14 nurses on the day and 11 at night which is a significant change from a few years ago when it was 12 and 9.

– Dr Andy Virr, Consultant, Emergency Department

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Balloons released in memory of schoolgirl

Seven year old Esmee Polmear died at school in Perranporth Credit: SWNS

Balloons will be released tomorrow in memory of a schoolgirl who died in Cornwall last week.

Seven year old Esmee Polmear collapsed at Perranporth School on Wednesday and was pronounced dead at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Her family are hoping to raise money to buy a defibrillator for the school.

Family and friends will meet at Perranporth tennis courts at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon. Family say anyone is welcome.

If you want to make a donation in memory of Esmee you can visit her fundraising page. Over £6,500 has been raised so far.

Thousands raised for school girl's funeral

Thousands raised for school girl's funeral Credit: gofundme.com

Thousands of pounds has been raised for the family of a school girl from Cornwall who died suddenly last week.

Seven year old Esmee Polmear collapsed at Perranporth School on Wednesday and was pronounced dead at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Money is being raised to help Esmee's family with funeral costs.

Esmee's head teacher Alistair Johnson described her as a "bright, popular and fun loving member of our school who touched the lives and hearts of all who knew her."

A website has been set up for donations.

Cornish school 'devastated' at sudden death of seven-year-old

Esmee Polmear collapsed at school. Credit: ITV News

Tributes have been paid to a seven-year-old girl who died after collapsing suddenly at Perranporth School.

Esmee Polmear was pronounced dead at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on July 1st.

Head Alistair Johnson has said the school is in shock.

"This is a terrible tragedy that has left the whole Perranporth School community shocked and devastated.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Esmee. She was a bright, popular and fun loving member of our school who touched the lives and hearts of all who knew her. She will be terribly missed."

– Alistair Johnson, Head of Perranporth Primary School

Investigation after death of Cornish schoolgirl

Police say the death of a pupil at Perranporth Community Primary School is not suspicious Credit: Perranporth C P School

A seven-year-old girl has died after collapsing at a school in North Cornwall.

It happened at Perranporth School yesterday lunchtime, 1 July. She was taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police are investigating but say her death is not suspicious.

Today's sports day has been cancelled but no reason has been given.

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