Derriford Hospital's medical director says staff are 'extremely busy' with 'long delays' in the emergency department.

Dr Phil Hughes is urging people not to visit the hospital unless absolutely necessary.

On Tuesday afternoon the longest waiting time to see a doctor in the emergency department was more than three hours, with more than 60 patients waiting for treatment.

Read more: Tavistock Minor Injuries Unit will close for three months until November

We're having an extremely busy week at University Hospitals Plymouth, with particularly long delays in the emergency department. We're asking everyone to help us help you by using other services where it's safe to do so and not attending the emergency department unless absolutely necessary. If you need to see a GP and a GP is not available, do not attend the emergency department at Derriford. Ring NHS 111, they will arrange for you to see a GP or health professional in the afternoon or evening.

Dr Phil Hughes, medical director at University Hospitals Plymouth

Alternatives to A&E

Patients are instead advised to consider visiting a minor injury unit, a pharmacist or their local GP.

The NHS’ 111 number is also available for people who urgently need medical help or advice but are not in a life-threatening situation.