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NHS Chairman taking action to 'cope with demand'

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has implemented its 'significant internal incident plan' after declaring Black Alert. Credit: ITV West Country

Dr Iain Chorlton, Chairman at NHS Kernow is urging the public to use emergency departments only when in need of urgent care after the Royal Cornwall Hospital declared 'Black Alert' over high demand.

The Chairman also says services are 'pulling out the stops to ease the pressure'.

The local health and social care system is currently experiencing significant pressure – including on the emergency department and patient flow – due to the demand on some services.

Services remain very busy and staff across the system are pulling out the stops to ease the pressure – our number one priority is to ensure patients receive high quality and safe care.

We are working with our partners to closely monitor the situation and are taking action to cope with the demand and return things to normal as quickly as possible.

We would also like to ask the public to support us by continuing to use alternative services and only using the emergency department when they need urgent care.

The public can help themselves – and their local NHS – by thinking carefully about the most appropriate place to be seen should they become ill.

The reasons for the high demand are complex, but what’s clear is that we must continue with our plans to create an integrated and sustainable system, that supports people to get the care and support they need quickly and safely, closer to their homes.

We are confident that as our ambitious plans become embedded that patient experience and outcomes will further improve and demand on some services will ease.

– Dr Iain Chorlton, Chairman at NHS Kernow

Despite a high demand on services, only Royal Cornwall Hospital has declared Black Alert status.