“NHS services across the country are likely to come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and we need to ensure that we have as many beds available as possible to care for patients with severe respiratory problems when the number of infections peaks.
“In line with well-established plans for situations like this, every hospital in England has now been asked to postpone all non-urgent planned operations from 15 April onwards with some other procedures likely to be rescheduled before then, so we can train our staff and adapt certain areas.
“We will begin postponing non-urgent planned operations across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly from Monday 23 March for at least 3 months. We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried. We would ask them not to call us, as we will be contacting everyone affected as soon as possible.
“Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal.
“Routine referrals from GPs and most outpatient appointments will also be postponed for at least 3 months, as part of steps to make sure we can maintain consistent levels of safety and standards for people using our services. Where possible some of the services that are continuing may also be delivered in a different way to the usual face to face appointments and instead we will use video and telephone consultations when it is clinically appropriate.
“We are sure our patients and local people will understand the need for the steps we are taking and support our staff over coming weeks and months.”