Cornwall

Cornwall's hospitals on 'black alert'

Emergency Department
Image caption A black alert is the highest level of alert and means hospital services are unable to cope with demand

Hospitals in Cornwall are on "black alert" due to pressures on their services, health bosses have confirmed.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust said it affected the three acute hospitals and not the "wider health community".

A black alert is the highest level of alert and means hospital services are unable to cope with demand.

The trust said it was seeing "high numbers" of people in its A&E department and there were delays in the transfer of patients to other care.

It said the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance and St Michael's in Hayle were affected.

Andrew MacCallum, chief executive, said: "We are in communication with our partner organisations and GPs to support patient discharge plans including the delivery of social care packages for patients ready to leave hospital.

"We would ask the public to support us by using alternative services wherever possible and by going to the NHS Choices website for advice if they need help in choosing the nearest and most appropriate service."

Elsewhere in the South West, Torbay Hospital, which has been on red alert for several days, said: "The alert is about being under extreme pressure, with a high demand for beds but not at the stage where we are turning ambulances away.

"We have opened up extra beds on an escalation ward."

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