"Major incident" status declared following Norovirus outbreak at Royal Cornwall Hospital
A "major incident" plan has been enacted by the trust that runs Cornwall's acute hospitals to deal with high levels of emergency admissions, discharge delays and a Norovirus outbreak.
Two wards have been closed and three bays isolated at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske and around 20 routine operations postponed to deal with the problems.
Urgent cancer surgery is going ahead but all other cases are being reviewed on a day-by-day basis with visitors asked ring ahead and not come to hospital unless their visit is essential
Chief operating officer at Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, Jo Gibbs said: "We hope patients will understand the need to focus on acutely ill patients in need of emergency admission.
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"Our clinical teams are working flexibly to care for patients needing admission and we have opened additional beds in our hospitals.
"Major incident status allows us to heighten our response. We maintain regular contact with our health and social care colleagues throughout the day agreeing a combined response to minimise the impact of the current pressures."
A RCHT spokeswoman said discharge delays were caused by patients awaiting nursing home placements or care packages to support them at home, as well as community hospital beds.
Peninsula Community Health, the social enterprise that runs 13 community hospitals in Cornwall, said that it was able to accommodate six of eight patients waiting for transfer yesterday.
A spokeswoman said: "Peninsula Community Health continues to work with our health partners and agencies to relieve the current pressures and to ensure minimum disruption to patients and staff with patient safety taking absolute priority."