Royal Cornwall Hospital "under pressure"
Truro’s Royal Cornwall Hospital has been put “under pressure” by patients turning up for treatment that could be provided by their GP.
Health bosses are now encouraging people to think twice before heading to A&E departments with minor injuries and ailments.
Examples in the past week include help being sought for a sore throat, non-traumatic back pain, a flare-up on long-standing joint arthritis and mild gastroenteritis.
Dr Andrew Virr, lead consultant for the emergency department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said: “In the last week or so we've seen a marked increase in the number of people coming to the emergency department at Treliske and casualty at West Cornwall, who should really have gone to their GP. “Our role here is to treat those with immediate and potentially life-threatening illness and injury. Those with less urgent needs will find they'll get seen more quickly if they see their GP, get advice from a pharmacist or make use of the excellent network of minor injury units around the county.
“If everyone uses their NHS services sensibly then our team can concentrate on those most in need of their specialist skills.”
Patients with minor ailments are encouraged to seek help from their GP, pharmacy or minor injury unit a local community hospitals.
There is also a GP led ‘walk-in’ centre in Redruth, on the Cardrew Industrial Estate, which is open from 8am until 8pm every day of the year with no appointment necessary.
Urgent primary medical care is also available from Serco overnight and at weekends and bank holidays, by calling 0845 2000 227.
Anyone unsure whether an injury is minor can contact their local minor injuries unit for advice or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. More information is on the Choose Well pages on the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly website at www.cornwallandislesofscilly.nhs.uk