More patients visited A&E at Royal Cornwall Hospitals last month, with demand rising well above the levels seen during the first national lockdown last year.

NHS England figures show 13,997 patients visited A&E at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in April.

That was a rise of 19% on the 11,733 visits recorded during March, and more than double the 6,835 patients seen in April 2020.

However, the figures show attendances were below the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic – in April 2019, there were 18,773 visits to A&E at Royal Cornwall Hospitals.

The majority of attendances last month were via minor A&E departments – those which treat minor injuries and illnesses such as fractures, cuts and bruises – while 41% were via major departments, with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care.

Figures for May have not been finalised, but earlier this month the hospital was put on black alert and people warned to only attend A&E in life-threatening emergenices.


Across England, A&E departments received 1.9 million visits last month.

That was an increase of 11% compared to March, and more than double the 916,600 seen during April 2020 – a reflection of lower-than-usual numbers for that month as more people avoided hospitals during the early days of the pandemic.

At Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, in April:

  • 85% of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS target of 95%
  • 708 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit
  • Of those, 25 were delayed by more than 12 hours

Separate data reveals that in March:

  • The median time to treatment was 42 minutes
  • Around 1% of patients left before being treated