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Hospital preparing for weekend 'as if it was New Year's Eve'

Hospital preparing for weekend 'as if it was New Year's Eve'

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:30am 3rd July 2020. (Updated at 1:29pm 3rd July 2020)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Medical staff at Cornwall’s main hospital are preparing for the easing of lockdown and opening of pubs this weekend as if it was New Year’s Eve.

Toby Slade, associate medical director for emergency care at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT), said that plans were in place for this weekend.

“We are preparing for a very busy weekend coming up.

“It will be what New Year’s Eve would be like if New Year’s Eve was a whole day of people going on the beach and then going out at night.

“We are asking people to behave sensibly and responsibly.”

Toby Slade, RCHT

Pubs and restaurants will be able to open for the first time since lockdown this weekend.

In addition thousands of tourists are expected to flood into Cornwall as hotels, campsites and B&Bs reopen their doors to guests.

Mr Slade said there was a need for “everyone to minimise their need for healthcare” and advised people to “be sensible about risky activities in the short term”.

treliske casualty 2

He added: “This is a very high risk time for us. Coronavirus hasn’t gone away. We are very lucky in Cornwall in many ways. We haven’t been affected in the same way as other places.”

Mr Slade said that this was largely due to people following guidelines and being sensible during lockdown and said that “we don’t want to lose that”.

The emergency consultant said that it was important that people go to the right place if they need medical help.

He warned that with social distancing the emergency department at Treliske which would normally have space for 40 people in its waiting room, currently only has space for seven.

"We need to reduce the number of people who come here.

“When patients do need to stay once they have been triaged we will be asking patients to wait outside the department or in their cars and we will call them when they can be seen.

“That will keep the waiting room free for those who may not have a mobile phone or that we need to keep watch on.”

Toby Slade, RCHT

Health and Wellbeing Show

He said that the emergency department is open but for life threatening emergencies such as strokes and heart attacks.

Mr Slade advised people to call 111 if they need medical help or 999 in an emergency.

"If 111 feel that it is an emergency need they will send you here. But it may be that it can be managed at a minor injury unit.

"It might be that 111 can give advice and you may not have to leave your own home.”

The consultant also advised visitors to Cornwall to contact their own GP at home if they need help and use video messaging facilities saying that “our GPs will be really busy looking after their own patients”.

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