Cherilyn Mackrory MP has welcomed upcoming end of COVID-19 restrictions as a way to increase capacity of Cornwall’s hospitals, but the move has been criticised by Labour.

The Truro and Falmouth’s MP Cherilyn Mackrory has highlighted the Critical Incident for adult social care which was declared this week in Cornwall in Parliament, while welcoming the pending end of Plan B Covid-19 restrictions next week, which will increase hospital capacity.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announced the end of COVID-19 restrictions in England in parliament yesterday as he struggles to keep his job over No 10 parties during the restrictions.

Speaking after the debate, Cherilyn said: “Today’s announcement by our Prime Minister that the Government will be ending Plan B Covid-19 restrictions over the coming week is excellent news. The data we are using shows that the Government’s swift action when the Omicron variant was first identified was the right thing to do. With this in mind, our hospitals will now be able make more effective use of the space and beds available to them. Therefore I very much hope this will help our excellent NHS teams in Cornwall to better manage their sites and in turn clear the critical incident we are currently experiencing.”

Whilst agreeing that health and care workers in Cornwall were doing an incredible job throughout a prolonged period of extreme pressure, Labour group leader on Cornwall Council, Cllr Jayne Kirkham said: "We have approximately 700 people in Cornwall who have been assessed as eligible for social care but for whom the council is unable to provide it. Hence why a Critical Incident was declared to match the critical incident in Cornwall's NHS that was declared three months ago. 180 of those people are in our hospitals unable to go home due to a lack of care workers and care home places.

"Bringing some beds back into operation and being able to put patients back in the corridor in the Emergency Department will leave fewer people waiting in ambulances outside but just moves the problem around. The issue is still those 180 people who cannot leave hospital because there is no care available for them.

"This is the issue the Prime Minister needs to address to make the system start to function. There are nearly 700 people in Cornwall we are unable to look after. Self-congratulation for the Prime minister for removing restrictions when his leadership is in chaos, will not help the health system in Cornwall. We need real solutions to recruit and retain care workers, raise their pay and permanently increase capacity and provide more step-down beds for people leaving hospital, rather than short term fixes like hiring hotels and giving discharge grants."