Cornwall's emergency departments are seeing an increased number of avoidable summer injuries as a result of the recent warm weather.

Staff at Cornwall’s main emergency department and minor injury units are reminding residents and holidaymakers to take care in the lovely weather after a number of people have come to them in recent days for help with problems that could have been avoided.

Emergency department consultant, Dr Toby Slade, said: "We know it’s going to be busy this summer and we’re urging everyone to stay safe to reduce unnecessary demand on NHS services.

"People can really help us by taking sensible precautions such as staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, applying a high factor sunscreen, and keeping well hydrated.

"If you do get caught out, always call your own GP first or if they aren’t available, then contact 111, either online or by phone.

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"With social distancing measures still fully in place at our hospitals, including the emergency department and minor injury units across the county, we have much less space in our waiting rooms.

"In many cases, people probably won’t even need to come to a hospital and a local pharmacy will be able to help."

Emma Wise, an advanced care practitioner and deputy clinical lead at Bodmin Hospital’s minor injury unit, said: "Over the years I have treated some horrendous summer-related illnesses, including severe burns to a child that have needed plastic surgery – please, never rely on just the SPF number on beach parasols; make sure youngsters are fully protected with the right clothing and sunscreen. "I’ve also seen sun strokes that have been admitted to critical care; it can be awful."

Demand on all services, including GPs and ambulances, remains high, and with covid cases also on the rise, the message from emergency and urgent care staff is that avoiding heat and sun-related problems will mean they’ll have more time to care for people with a serious and life-threatening illness.