HYWEL Dda University Health Board has issued a press release highlighting the severe pressure faced at its hospitals across West Wales. The statement reads:

It has been an extraordinary weekend for our health service, with critical pressures being felt across all of our hospital A&E departments, GPs and our community services.

In the interest of patient safety, Hywel Dda University Health Board has made the decision to cancel inpatient operations today (Monday 6 January 2020) at Bronglais, Glangwili, Prince Philip and Withybush hospitals.

All outpatient appointments are continuing as normal.

We are contacting patients affected directly so please attend as planned if you do not hear from us. Otherwise, please do not contact our appointments or outpatient teams unless absolutely necessary as they are very busy at this time.

If you are unwell, please be aware that you may experience long waits for a GP appointment and at our A&E or MIU units at this time, for which we wholeheartedly apologise. If there are other services you can use, such as community pharmacies, please do so.

Please do not attend an emergency department or GP practice if you have symptoms of an infectious illness such diarrhoea, vomiting, fever or symptoms of flu. Flu and norovirus are circulating and for the majority of people these can be treated safely at home. However, if you are vulnerable (very young, frail elderly, living with long term or chronic conditions) or your symptoms worsen please seek medical advice.

Dr Philip Kloer, Medical Director at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “First I’d like to thank all my NHS colleagues across our hospitals, primary care and in the community for their commitment to our patients at this highly pressurised time.

“This weekend saw our hospitals at a level of escalation not seen before and it is in the interest of patient safety that we have postponed planned operations today. I understand this may be frustrating for those who have waited for their operation and I apologise for this.

“In response to the pressures being experienced today, we are redeploying staff to areas where additional support is needed, including contacting staff currently on leave. We are also working with our colleagues in the local authority and the families of those well enough to be discharged to ensure our medically well can go home or to an appropriate care setting as soon as possible.”

If you or a loved one are unwell or injured, you can help as there may be other services that can provide the care that you need:

  • Self care – A lot of illnesses can be treated in your home by using over the counter medicine and getting plenty of rest. Keep a well prepared first aid kit at home: Bandages, plasters, thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape, and tweezers.
  • Pharmacies – your local pharmacy can to do much more than dispense medication. From treatment for low level injuries such as sprains and strains to free confidential NHS advice and treatment for a range of common ailments such as back pain, eye infections to chicken pox, your pharmacist can help. Find out what services are available at your local pharmacy by visiting www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/communitypharmacy

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