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Patients 'waiting in corridors' amid surge at A&E

Patients 'waiting in corridors' amid surge at A&E

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 8:53am 31st December 2019. (Updated at 9:12am 31st December 2019)

There have been reports of patients waiting in corridors amid a surge in demand at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Pirate FM told you Treliske is facing significant pressure ahead of New Year: Read More.

Bosses have so far avoided declaring a so-called 'black alert'.

However we are being urged to steer clear A&E after long waits on Tuesday.

As of that evening, Derriford Hospital had reached Opel Level 4 amid reports of patients waiting for over nine hours.

You can check the live waiting times at Cornwall's hospitals here.

Speaking to Pirate FM ahead of the Christmas surge, Systems Director for Urgent and Emergency Care, Karen Kay, asked people to choose where they go for treatment wisely.

"Every year the number of people who come into the emergency department goes up and that's one of the challenges because obviously the size of the building doesn't get any bigger.

"So the more people who come, the more overcrowded it is in the emergency department.

"When it gets very overcrowded, it ends up with all the cubicles full in the emergency department and patients unfortunately having to be treated on trollies and we have ambulances queuing at the door; that's a horrible experience for patients and their families".

Karen Kay

"If people are feeling unwell we'd really urge them to seek help early, rather than waiting for symptoms to worsen. A trip to the pharmacy, a visit to the GP or a call to 111 for advice could avoid admission or a trip to hospital
"For a wide range of minor problems and injuries we've got a fantastic network of minor injury units around the county and our Urgent Treatment Centre at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance is open 24 hours every day.

"We'd also ask anyone who has a relative in hospital, who just needs a little bit of extra care and support to be able to go home, to consider if they could provide that care so that we can free up space for new emergencies arriving at our hospitals.

"The period between Christmas and New Year is always a pinch point for us and it's really about making sure people know that there is a wide range of services here for them to choose from, including out of hours GP services and pharmacies available every day, including the Bank Holidays. 

If we all get help early and make the right choices, we can reduce the risk of very long waits and corridor queues, and you'll be helping hospital staff to keep our patients safe".

Emergency Department Consultant, Dr Anna Shekdar

Where else can I go for treatment in Cornwall?

"A good message for New Year is a reminder about stocking up the home medicine cabinet.  

"There is a lot of minor illness about in the community, colds and flu-like illness as well as sickness and diarrhoea, which can all be dealt with at home and symptoms eased with over the counter remedies you can get from a local pharmacy.  

"Unless symptoms are really severe or have gone on for over a week, then a trip to your GP, and definitely A&E, isn't necessary and will only make matters worse by exposing others who are potentially more vulnerable to the virus.  

"Advice is always available 24/7 by calling 111".

Royal Cornwall Hospital

You can check where else to go for treatment in Cornwall here.

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