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Do you need urgent NHS care in Cornwall? Then contact NHS 111

A new system is being introduced for people in Cornwall who need urgent – but not emergency – NHS care.

People will be urged to contact NHS 111 by phone or online, at any time of day or night, to find out where they should go and when.

If needed, experienced clinicians will make a referral directly to the emergency department (ED) or to another treatment unit.

People turning up at ED without a referral from NHS 111 may be directed elsewhere or have to wait until referred patients have been seen, unless they need immediate treatment.

This is a new way of accessing urgent care in Cornwall, to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible during the covid pandemic.

It is being introduced as tourism businesses reopen, heralding the arrival of large numbers of visitors.

The new system will help the NHS manage the flow of patients when capacity in waiting rooms is much smaller than before, to maintain distancing and reduce the risk of infection. The waiting room at ED in Truro, for example, has capacity for only seven people with two-metre distancing, compared to 40 before the pandemic.

Contacting 111 first means everyone will get the right treatment, more quickly - and probably closer to home as well.

It also means that visitors to Cornwall don’t need to look up details of NHS services if they need urgent treatment. The 111 advisers will do all that – and book them in where possible.

Arrangements have not changed for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Please continue to dial 999, as before.

The Cornwall scheme is one of several being introduced around the country in response to the pandemic and the ongoing need to protect people from infection. Other parts of the NHS are likely to follow suit over coming weeks and months.

Dr Iain Chorlton, NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body chairman, said: “This is all about keeping people safe in a covid world, when we need to maintain distance and can’t have lots of people just turning up at A&E in an uncontrolled way. Cornwall is one of the first parts of the country to try out the system, given that we’re expecting a lot of visitors over coming days as the tourism industry reopens.”

Mark Woolcock, chief operating officer with Kernow Health CIC, which runs the NHS 111 service for the county, said: “We’ve got an experienced team of highly-qualified clinicians here in Truro who’ll be available night and day to make sure people get the right treatment when they contact us via NHS 111.

“That might mean you’re sent on to ED, but the great majority won’t need that and are likely to be pointed to one of our other units, where they’ll be seen quicker - and probably closer to home as well.”

Dr Toby Slade, emergency medicine consultant at Royal Cornwall Hospitals in Truro, said: “Nobody’s going to be locked out of ED at Truro, but those turning up without referral from NHS 111 may be asked to go elsewhere for treatment.

“And those who’ve come via NHS 111 will always have priority for treatment unless there’s a clear medical need.

“We can’t take chances by having too many people in ED at one time, so our advice is: Just contact NHS 111 by phone or online, to find out where you should go and when. They know exactly what’s best for your condition and where to go for the right treatment.”



A Cornwall based jeweller auctions bespoke rainbow ring for NHS

Rainbow Ring Auction 2

A unique 18ct white gold rainbow gemmed ring, designed and donated by an anonymous jeweller, is being auctioned to raise money to support frontline NHS staff during the pandemic.

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) launched the auction Sunday 5 July, on the 72nd birthday of the NHS, alongside their COVID-19 appeal, for anyone to bid on the mesmerising and entirely bespoke multi-stone ring. 

The kind-hearted jeweller has been in the business for more than three decades and moved to Cornwall five years ago to open his own shop in Wadebridge.

“I wanted to give something back to the NHS. Seeing how the rainbow was becoming a symbol for the NHS I thought it would be nice to make a ring in the same theme,” the caring craftsman said.

“I’ve never made anything for charity before, but I was thinking about how I could help locally and wanted to support the efforts of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.”

Rainbow Ring Auction

Phil Confue, Chief Executive at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust commented: “We’ve never received a donation of this kind before. All over the country people have been getting creative to raise money and this is just one of the ways that Cornwall has shown unity.

“Despite the difficult circumstances that we’re all facing at the minute, it has really shown how people can come together in times of need, and this ring will be a symbol of the selfless work that our NHS staff are doing.”

Having started as an apprentice at the age of 17, the jeweller worked in London’s Hatton Garden making jewellery for small and large retailers including some of London’s top West End jewellery shops.

Stephanie Pomeroy, Fundraising Manger commented: “It’s an honour to receive this ring from such an esteemed jeweller. I’ve never seen anything like it before and it is sure to be a talking point. We can’t thank the generous donor enough for auctioning the ring to raise money for our COVID-19 Appeal.”

This vibrant piece features seven individual gemstones – amethyst, tanzanite, blue sapphire, green sapphire, yellow sapphire, fire opal and ruby – all set in 18 carat white gold.

Make a bid on this one-of-a-kind item before Sunday 12 July, 21:00, knowing that the money raised will support the health and wellbeing of the heroic frontline NHS staff at CFT:


NHS staff urge people to make the right choice for health care as lockdown eases

Choose Well Logo

The NHS is calling on people living and visiting Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to have fun, stay safe and if they need health care to use the most appropriate service as it gears up for a very busy ‘bank holiday-style’ weekend.

With pubs, bars, restaurants, tourist hotspots and accommodation beginning to reopen after more than 100 days of coronavirus lockdown this weekend, the county is going to be much busier than it has been in recent weeks.

Toby Slade, emergency department consultant at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, said: “We can appreciate that people will want to get out and about and make the most of the opportunities that have not been available for so long. As such we’re preparing for a very busy weekend – I’ve heard it described as New Year’s Eve, if New Year’s Eve fell on a sunny bank holiday and lasted up to 24 hours.”

Toby and his NHS colleagues want everyone to enjoy these new freedoms but added: “We know with more people out and about there are greater risks. Think about how much alcohol you’re consuming, please act sensibly – we want to keep you safe.”

The emergency department will remain open for business for serious and life-threatening illnesses or injuries, such as heart attacks or strokes. In instances such as these people should go straight to the emergency department or dial 999.

If a situation arises that is urgent but not serious people are asked to use NHS 111.

He said: “Help us to help you by using NHS 111. Dial 111 or go online to where you can find a full range of local health services. If you aren’t sure what to do and you have a minor injury use 111 and they will direct you to the most appropriate location to get help.”

"Anyone who does attend the emergency department will find that the waiting room is much smaller than before to maintain social distancing at two metres and reduce the risk of infection to other patients and staff. Following initial assessment, our patients will be requested to wait outside or in their cars - to ensure the reduced waiting room capacity is only for vulnerable patients who really need it."

Iain Chorlton, GP and NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group chairman, said: “I would like to remind people that despite us seeing things beginning to reopen we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic and this is far from over. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s response and support to the crises has been really impressive but we need to keep going.”

“One of the most important actions people can take is if you aren’t sure what to do and you have a minor injury use 111 and they will direct you to the most appropriate location,” he added.

He also has advice for those visiting the county now lockdown restrictions are being lifted.

Dr Chorlton added: “It is also important that if you are unwell and need to see a doctor that you contact your own GP practice even if you’re a visitor and the practice is outside of Cornwall. My practice and practices up and down the country are offering video appointments which mean we can see patients safely and quickly during the pandemic.

“This weekend marks 72 years of the NHS and the best way you can say thank you is to use the right services and follow social distancing guidelines.”


Stratton overnight service will remain in place until the end of the financial year

This month, it has been confirmed that the innovative partnership which has enabled the provision of overnight services at Stratton Hospital will remain in place until 31 March 2021 and then will be part of the annual contracting round.

Stratton Hospital

The service is provided by an advanced clinician from Kernow Health CIC, who deliver the county’s urgent care service out of hours. The service is accessed by calling NHS 111 and treats people who would historically attended the minor injury unit out of hours, or who need an appointment with the out of hours GP service.

Phil Confue, Chief Executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust confirmed, “We are delighted to be able to maintain the innovative service at Stratton until the end of the financial year.

“The overnight service provides peace of mind to people in the far north of Cornwall and over the border in Devon. We have been able to achieve this solution by working together with Kernow Health CIC in response to what the community have told us.”


Adult mental health unit in Cornwall embark on virtual walk of the UK to raise funds for gym equipment

Land's End to John O'Groats

Fundraisers aren’t letting coronavirus stop a charity hike for a mental health unit in its tracks – instead they’re taking part in a virtual hike of the UK.

Patients and staff from Longreach House in Redruth set off on Monday 1 June on their month long virtual walk between Land’s End and John O’Groats.

During the 30 days, they will cover the extraordinary distance of 874 miles without setting a foot outside the grounds of the unit, hoping their epic efforts will raise £6,500 for much-needed gym equipment.

Lucy McCormick, Sport and Exercise Technician at Longreach said: “We have a diverse range of patients at Longreach and our current exercise equipment is limited. We hope to raise enough funds to purchase a Cardio Wall which is an amazing versatile piece of equipment and would be a hugely beneficial for patients and staff.”

After only 14 days, they have already covered an impressive 498 miles, now working their way through Dufton on their way to Alston.

Sam Martin, Carbis Ward Manager commented: “The challenge has come at a much needed time. It has really helped to motivate staff and patients, promoting a camaraderie of working together to achieve the target. It’s been amazing to see the patients getting really involved, tracking their steps, and walking more.”

One patient even wants to continue the challenge after they are discharged: "I think it is very beneficial having a Steps Challenge whilst in hospital. It gets you out in the fresh air, in nature, keeps you occupied and helps an important cause. It makes you feel part of a community."

Clinical Psychologist, Catherine Collins said this about the benefits of physical activity: “Engaging in physical activities has a proven evidence base for helping to improve low mood. This is because low mood is often associated with social isolation and depleted energy levels creating a vicious circle which keeps the mood depressed.

“Starting a programme of physical exercise is likely to involve social contact, and we know that getting exercise is energising in itself, kicking off an upward spiral of improved mood. It is important to start small with achievable goals, then you can enjoy feelings of success and achievement as additional positive side effects.”

Longreach House are raising funds to purchase a CardioWall to benefit a wide range of patients.

Harry Stevens, Director and Co-Owner of Rugged Interactive, said: “The CardioWall has been very popular in schools, gyms, physical rehab centres and retirement villages. And we have recently had an amazing response from mental health units too.

“Its secret is that whilst it offers both physical and mental challenges, to the user it just feels like they’re playing a game. It’s the game that is the motivator, and that motivation is what’s so valuable for patients in NHS Mental Health units.”

Support Longreach House this June and help them raise £6,500 for gym equipment:


Farewell Margaret

After 46 years of being qualified, Margaret North will retire from her clinical nursing role today [Friday 12 June].

Rosalie Brown, Home First Team Lead Kerrier commented: “It is with grateful thanks we wish to celebrate Margaret as she retires. She has worked with the Kerrier Integrated team since 2008, initially as a Rapid Assessment Team Nurse.

“Throughout her time at Kerrier, Margaret has used her clinical skill and knowledge extensively to support the patients in the community. She has also worked alongside Adult Social Care colleagues, developing close working relationships that supported joined up working across the Health and Social Care services.

“Margaret never forgets to thank the team members working with her on a daily basis, ensuring the support workers are safe, well and supported. The daily email she sends to each one has a personal touch and is a demonstration of her professionalism and dedication. 

“Margaret is to continue her other role as RCN union representative, using her nursing skills and knowledge to the support the nursing profession and nurses.

“It is with warm hearts that we wish Margaret happiness and joy. We know we will hear from her again as she tirelessly works for the RCN. The team will miss her very much. A big thank you from the Kerrier Home First and the Integrated Care Team.”


Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) launches new free mental health telephone service

Mental health phone line

A new dedicated 24/7 mental health telephone service for anyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly worried about their mental health is now available.

Plans for the dedicated mental health support, advice and triage line were accelerated up as part of the ongoing response by the NHS to the coronavirus pandemic.

The telephone service is available to anyone, regardless of their age, all day every day by calling free on 0800 038 5300 and was launched by the Trust on 5 May 2020.

Dr Adrian Flynn, consultant psychiatrist at CPFT, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer round the clock access to mental health support, advice and onward care, to anyone, regardless of their age.

“If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health, the team behind our 24/7 free telephone service will listen to you and determine how best to help.”

Dr Flynn added: “In response to the pandemic and acknowledging the impact this challenging time can have on people’s mental health, Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s national director for mental health, asked all mental health trusts to accelerate this aspiration. With the launch of this new service our hope is whatever the time of day or night people who need mental health support will know it is freely and easily available to them via one dedicated telephone number.”

South Western Ambulance Service Trust, NHS 111 and GPs will also be able to use the new mental health telephone service if they are worried about a person’s mental health.

Anyone already receiving mental health support and services should continue to access their care in the same way.

More details about the 24/7 telephone service and additional mental health and wellbeing support is available here:


A Cornish author to donate book royalties to CFT COVID-19 Appeal

Melanie Stephens

An author from Cornwall is donating the royalties from her collection of short stories about the coronavirus pandemic and life in lockdown to support NHS staff during the pandemic.

Melanie Stephens from Grampound Road, penned Isolation Tales as a way to remember the details of lockdown, the pandemic and the world within it.

All 16 short-stories were self-published in May with the mum of three choosing to donate the royalties to the COVID-19 Appeal set up by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT).

The money will be used to help support the health and wellbeing of community NHS staff in Cornwall at this difficult time.

Melanie, 40, said: “All the stories are based on real people, interviews and testimonials to ensure they really reflect this time. From keyworkers to parents, to children, to the planet and virus itself; the book really covers a broad range of the global crisis.

“I want to donate all the royalties that would come to myself as an author to the NHS. As the book is about the coronavirus it seems only fitting the funds earnt should go to the people on the frontline.”

Rachel Faulkner, Workforce Health and Wellbeing Specialist at CFT commented: “We’re really grateful for the support of Melanie. Her book will not only shine a light on the work that our staff and other key workers are doing, but also the way that the Cornish community has pulled together.

“The donation of the royalties will help us put in place initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of community NHS staff in Cornwall. So far, funds have gone towards some fruit boxes for staff.”

Isolation Tales was written in 16 days with Melanie allocating two hours a day to write.

Apart from having a bit of help editing, the whole process of designing the front cover, formatting and writing a synopsis was done by Melanie herself.

She added: “It was very important to me that the book came out whilst we were all still in lockdown. I wanted people to read it and realise what was happening in the stories was happening right now. The book really shines a light on the courageous work keyworkers are doing every day.”

The book has already received high praise from the public.

One reader, Lisa Neville, commented: “I think the mood that's descended on us all is summed up within these pages. It made me think differently about who are our key workers - the visible and invisible - not only our incredible NHS but the postie and funeral directors. To appreciate them in ways I just never had before. Through Mel's writing I got a new appreciation for everything.”

Wendy Wilkinson said: “Just completed this compelling book of short fictional stories. Clever, uncomplicated text used with dramatic effect engaging the reader from the get go. These accounts will resonate with many for years to come. An emotional rollercoaster at times, but with glimpses of humour to lighten the mood. Undeniably a very poignant book.”

Melanie is currently in the middle of writing two other books, and there is a possibility for a follow up to Isolation Tales, which will include more short stories and poems.

Isolation Tales is exclusive to Amazon in either paperback or e-book:


Cornwall unites to raise more than £6,000 to support county’s frontline community NHS staff

Fundraisers from across Cornwall have shown the true meaning of community spirit by joining forces to raise thousands of pounds to support NHS frontline workers during the pandemic.

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) launched an appeal back in April to support frontline NHS workers who are working tirelessly every day, risking their lives and putting others before themselves, to continue to serve communities throughout Cornwall. 

 “Our colleagues and volunteers are going above and beyond to ensure care and support remains available in these challenging times,” commented Phil Confue, Chief Executive at CFT. 

“It’s been incredible to see the Cornish community supporting our staff by making PPE, donating food and taking on fundraising challenges. We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and we want to thank our staff for everything they are doing.”

Rebecca and Coby Attewell

One young fundraiser, Coby Attewell, challenged himself and his mum, Rebecca, to cycle, run and walk 110 miles in three weeks of lockdown. Rebecca said: “Coby is aged 10 and will be 11 this year. He has been listening to what is happening about the Coronavirus from the beginning and he said he would like to do something to help the NHS, and to say a personal thank you as he felt very saddened with what they have to face.”

By the end of their three-week challenge, Coby and Rebecca had completed 200 miles and have raised over £1100 for NHS staff, smashing their initial target of £110.

Other fundraisers have taken on similar challenges to stay active during lockdown, having been inspired by Colonel Tom Moore to raise money for the NHS.

Christine Pollard

Christine Pollard even braved the shave: “We're so proud of our NHS and it’s sometimes forgotten in Cornwall, so I thought it would be good to give something back, and as I'm not allowed to go out I thought I may be able to Brave the Shave, it'll give me three months to grow it again, if I want to. I'm so pleased that I have so many good friends and family who feel the same.”

The money raised so far has helped to give staff a hot meal every day when they have been unable to get to the supermarket after long and emotionally demanding shifts. One staff member said, “The meals have been a real boost. A focus on something positive every day and a topic of conversation which provides a bit of welcome relief.”

Funds will also go towards providing a regular delivery of fresh fruit boxes to Community Hospitals, Community Mental Health Teams and District Nursing Teams.

You can support the appeal, and all the fundraisers, here:

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