The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.
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Over the last 24 hours the pressure on some hospitals in the South West
has reached peak levels, with all experiencing huge demand.
Some have declared the highest level of alert
and some operations have been postponed.
Clare Woodling joins me now with more details.
This winter, a new way of classifying pressure has been
brought in at hospitals across the country.
What we knew as black alert, the most serious status,
is now called Operational Pressures Escalation Level 4 or OPEL 4.
Tonight the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro is on this,
It says there are around 100 patients occupying beds
but who are waiting to go on to the next stage
Other hospitals which have also been under immense strain in recent
days include Yeovil, where managers have
urged people with minor problems to avoid A
Last night, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth was on the highest level
of alert but today there's been some relief as that level has been
dropped to OPEL three, formerly known as red alert,
The hospital says it's still "operationally challenged"
and additional doctors and nurses have been brought in to help.
North Devon District Hospital is under a similar level of pressure.
Dorset County Hospital says that it is 96 per cent full
but at the moment it's on a lower level of alert.
It says health and social services are working together well
Urgent action is being taken at Torbay Hospital.
Meanwhile 50 extra beds have been opened
where all planned operations have been postponed.
One of the consultants there spoke to me earlier
It has been very busy. We have been experiencing great levels of demand
with an enormous number of patients, to the doors but we have been
managing to give patients excellent care. There is no secret that the is
rising the. More patients are coming along. We have an ageing population,
particularly in this area and elderly patients need more extra
care and the wintertime so the pressure has worsened, year on year.
NHS England says tried-and-tested plans are in place.
People are being reminded that attending A is the right thing
to do in an emergency or life-threatening situation
but often people forget about Minor Injury Units for cuts,
As well as advice from GPs and pharmacies, there's
People are being reminded not to visit friends and relatives
in hospital if they feel unwell themselves, so as to avoid
spreading viruses to people who are already vulnerable.
Let's take a look at other news around the region tonight.
A coroner has recorded a verdict of accidental death after
a Plymouth man fell 14 floors trying to stop his teenage friend
The inquest heard how 24-year -old Thomas Bennett had climbed
onto the ledge at the University of Honolulu to try and save the life
Both men fell, but his friend survived the incident.
A police investigation is continuing into the discovery of the bodies
of a man and a woman at a farmhouse near Dunkeswell in Devon.
The police say the deaths are being treated as a "domestic-related
The married couple have been named locally as Nicola and Michael Beck.
A pupil from Truro School received hospital treatment after students
broke a curfew and bought drugs and alcohol on
The head teacher of the private school confirmed a number of
sixth form students bought a small amount of drugs from a local dealer.
One female student was taken to hospital but was not seriously ill.
Wildlife campaigners in Dorset are celebrating
following a U-turn on proposals to build a large solar farm
in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Dorset Wildlife Trust says they're pleased
an agreement has been reached with British Solar Renewables
A smaller solar farm is now expected to be built nearby.
More than 8,000 Plymouth Argyle supporters have
bought tickets for Sunday's big match against Liverpool.
The last time the Pilgrims made round three was three years ago,
You have to play without any fear. Discipline, competence. If all of
the players are up to peak form... Stick to the game plan, togetherness
and belief. This squad does have belief and a manager with one thing
on his mind. We are going to win, there is the possibility, it has
happened in the past. You got to go there with that belief and attitude.
Graham Kelly, a Liverpool fan is Plymouth Argyle's Star man and
unfazed by performing on the big stage. When the game starts, you're
in the zone, you're in a bubble commie don't focus on the fans, just
fully on the game. Unless we are competitive, unless we give it a
good go, then we are not really going to enjoy it.
Six grey seal pups have been released back into the wild
after spending several months being nursed back to health
by staff at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek.
Among the six were Honey Badger, Panther,
All were rescued around Cornwall's coast after being found abandoned,
dangerously underweight and in several cases
You can only prepare them so much. I am more than confident that they
will figure it out and that they will find fish and settle right back
into the wild. Time now for the weather
forecast with David. Good evening. We've had some dry
weather over the last four or five weeks. There is some rain now, but
the month of December was particularly dry, the seventh driest
ever with records going back to 1910. 42% of what we would normally
see in terms of rainfall. There is some patchy rain overnight tonight.
Tomorrow is rather cloudy and misty, but turning quite a bit less cold as
we start to see winds coming from the West. We still have high
pressure. Any weather fronts, fairly weak, but bringing cloud, trapped
beneath that area of high pressure, for Saturday and Sunday. So little
change in the weather pattern, and limited amounts of sunshine.
Overnight, it will not be cold, temperatures up by the end of the
night at around 6-8 C, so mild compared to what we have seen
recently. Tomorrow, quite grey and misty, with extensive low cloud and
hill fog. Even though the drizzle moves away, we keep a lot of low
figures at around 10 Celsius. The figures at around 10 Celsius. The
arriving later in the day on Monday. but not by much. Some
And cold and breezy by Tuesday of next week. The good evening. That's
it from the late team. Have a good night. Goodbye.
Good evening. The weather has been turning milder and also cloudier
through the course of the day. We did see some clear spells moving in
from the North will stop this was the sunset, captured in Dundee. Some
clear spells as we headed through the course of the afternoon into the
evening. Really, through the weekend, wiki with a similar theme.
Much milder than it has been. A lot of cloud around in general, but for
most of us think. Dry. Not dry everywhere at the moment,
particularly across central and southern parts of England and Wales.
We have a lot of cloud, bringing outbreaks of light rain and drizzle.
The patchy rain will ease away slowly towards the south through
tonight and further north across the country, drier conditions. Wherever
you are, it's pretty cloudy. Mostly frost free to start the weekend, but
there could be frost across the central glens of Scotland. A chilly
start, but quite a lot of cloud, some pockets of