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Hospital Declares Major Incident

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7:01am 6th March 2013

A triple whammy forces Cornwall's biggest hospital to declare a major incident.

Wards are being shut, some operations cancelled and visitors urged to stay away from Treliske.

It is battling a rise in emergency admissions, patients who can not be discharged because there is nowhere for them to go and now Norovirus.

Some patients who would usually be discharged to a community hospital have been told there is nowhere for them to go.

It is after the social enterprise company that runs most of the cottage hospitals shut some of its beds because it does not have enough staff.

Chief operating officer at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Jo Gibbs said: “RCHT is using its major incident plan to work with health and social care colleagues to manage the current demand on hospital and community services.

“One of the top priorities is to minimise the risk of the spread of Nororvirus in our hospitals. We are asking visitors not to come to hospital unless their visit is essential and we are sorry that it has been necessary to postpone a number of non-urgent operations. However, we hope patients will understand the need to focus on acutely ill patients in need of emergency admission.

“Our clinical teams are working flexibly to care for patients needing admission and we have opened additional beds in our hospitals. Urgent cancer surgery is going ahead and all other cases are being reviewed on a day by day basis.  Patients whose operations are postponed are being contacted individually.

“Major incident status allows us to heighten our response. We maintain regular contact with our health and social care colleagues throughout the day agreeing a combined response to minimise the impact of the current pressures.”

The vomiting bug has closed two wards and three more bays are isolated.

Around twenty routine operations have been postponed on weekdays while the majority of day cases are going ahead. Surgery at the West Cornwall and St Michael's has not been affected.

Anyone who does intend to visit is being urged to ring the ward they intend to visit for advice before setting out.

Outpatient clinics are running as normal although patients should stay away if they have been unwell with sickness or diarrhoea themselves or if they have been in contact with anyone who as had these symptoms in the last 48 hours.

7:01am 6th March 2013

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