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The patients waiting over four hours at A&E in Cornwall

The patients waiting over four hours at A&E in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 24th November 2019. (Updated at 6:08pm 24th November 2019)

It has been revealed that one in eight patients in Cornwall spent four hours or longer in A&E during October.

New NHS figures show just 87% of patients arriving at the emergency department were treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.

That means 2,199 people spent longer in A&E. This was far below the 95% target introduced in 2004.

You can find all the source data here.

It comes as Cornwall's main hospital issues an urgent appeal after that weekend spike in emergencies.

Footage emerged that showed patients waiting in corridors and ambulances queuing outside A&E.

Treliske health hospital

Treliske declared its highest level of alert, Opel 4, on Wednesday - previously known as 'Black Alert'.

At the time, bosses said: "We have seen a spike in emergencies over the weekend and the start of this week.  

"Together with health and care services partners our staff have been working tirelessly to make sure people are treated and return home, or are admitted, as quickly as possible and we are seeing an improvement in the situation.

"Local people can help us, help them by using the most appropriate place for the care and support they need.  

"We know that the colder weather will exacerbate long term conditions, particularly for those with respiratory problems.  

"It's important to take prescribed medicines and to seek help early from a GP, or by calling 111, if symptoms are getting worse, as that could avoid admission to hospital later on.

"Generally we'd ask people to make use of the pharmacies, the brilliant network of minor injury units around the county and the 24 hour urgent treatment centre at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance.  

"Opening times and live waiting times are on our website www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk together with information on how to cope at home with the bugs and minor illnesses we see at this time of year."

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust

Bosses have since confirmed that the Opel 4 status has been stood down.

However the hospital is still under extreme pressure and people are being urged to avoid casualty over the weekend.

treliske casualty 2

Richard Murray, chief executive of the King's Fund health think tank, said the statistics "lay bare the stark reality for patients across the country who are struggling to access NHS hospital services."

"These figures underline the scale of the challenge for the next government, which will enter office when the NHS faces one of the worst winters in its history.

"This is a crisis in the making and winter won't wait; the new government must prioritise addressing chronic NHS staffing shortages and expediting measures to deal with the consultant pensions crisis, which is heaping additional pressures on A&E departments."

Richard Murray, the King's Fund

What are the election promises on the NHS?

The NHS is one of the most talked-about issues of the general election campaign so far, with big pledges from all the major parties.

The Tories, who are expected to release their manifesto on Sunday, have already promised the "biggest investment for a generation" in the NHS.

Labour's manifesto pledges to increase NHS spending by 4.3%, including major investments in mental health and free yearly dental check-ups.

The Lib Dems say they will spend an extra £7bn a year by putting 1p on income tax to go to the NHS and social care, as well as promising to end a shortfall in GPs.

The Green Party's manifesto pledges to increase NHS funding by at least £6bn a year each year until 2030, as well as reinstating nursing bursaries.

You can compare all the parties' policies, including on the NHS, in the interactive manifesto checker below...

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