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Attendances to the Emergency Department at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust continue to rise, so we would like to ask the public to carefully consider their options.

Beth Newstead, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at UHP, said: “Our attendances are now back to very busy levels. Pre-Covid-19, we were often crowded in the Emergency Department and this can absolutely not be allowed to happen with strict social distancing measures in place.

“People cannot be more at risk in the Emergency Department than they would be in the local supermarket. Therefore, we would ask that you only come to the Emergency Department if absolutely necessary.

“We do want to see you if you have had major trauma or if you are experiencing prolonged chest pain or significant breathing difficulties, if you've got signs of a stroke or have severe abdominal pain.

“If you have a less severe problem however such as a minor injury, a rash, back pain or a joint problem, we ask that you consider other options. Please persist in contacting your GP or visit a pharmacist and consider things like; have you used NHS 111? And do you remember that the Nuffield Site is open opposite the main hospital site for minor injury and illness?”

Many conditions are not an emergency and can be cared for outside of the Emergency Department. Alternatives include the Minor Injury Units (MIUs) at the Cumberland Centre in Devonport and Tavistock, and by calling NHS 111, or by visiting NHS online at:

All patients self-presenting in an emergency to Derriford, or Nuffield Minor Injury Unit, will have their temperature taken on arrival to screen for the Covid-19. If you have been self-isolating due to symptoms of the virus, please call 111 and do not attend the Nuffield site.

If you have a life-threatening emergency, dial 999 for an ambulance without delay.


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