'It’s like New Year every day' - Cornwall hospital issues plea for people to stay away from A&E

The Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Health and Care Partnership are operating under the highest level of pressure, known as OPEL 4

Cornwall's main hospital has issued a plea for people only to attend the emergency department in a genuine emergency.

A&E at the Royal Cornwall Hospital is 'exceptionally busy' with a medical director saying "it's like New Year every day".

Unless it is a genuine emergency, people are being asked to call their GP or 111 first so you can be directed to the most appropriate place for your care.

RCHT Medical Director, Dr Allister Grant, said: “We need to be able to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening illness and injury.

"It’s like New Year every day. We’re the busiest we have ever been and people with emergencies like heart attacks, stroke and serious trauma are the ones who need the specialist care of an emergency department.

“Unfortunately, we’re still seeing a significant number of people turning up with less urgent conditions and in some cases they’re telling us they have been sent by their GP or the 111 service, when we can see from our records they haven’t made contact with them first.

"We really need people to make that call before they set out. They will be able to speak to an experienced clinician or GP if they need one, and importantly, they’ll be directed to the most appropriate place for their care.”

Credit: PA Wire

“You can call your own GP even if you are here on holiday and a pharmacist can give advice on minor ailments such as coughs and colds, sore throats, conjunctivitis, and nappy rash. Please help us, help you and keep the emergency department for real emergencies.”

As of 12.25pm, the waiting time at the A&E at RCHT were two hours 15 minutes with 66 patients in the department.

The advice on RCHT's wesbite

If it is not a life-threatening emergency, please consider other options before dialling 999 or coming to the emergency department. This allows emergency staff to concentrate on people whose lives are at risk, and could also save you a long wait.

If you’re still not sure what to do or where to go, you can always call 111 for advice, for free, at any time of day or night.