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Labour Politicians Meet With Health Board Over COVID-19 Planning

LABOUR Members of the Senedd from Mid and West Wales and MP Nia Griffth have held a Skype meeting with senior representatives of Hywel Dda Health Board to hear how plans to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak are taking shape.

As cases of the virus continue to rise across Wales, the Health Board expects a peak in the region towards the end of May. However, systems and plans are being put in place now to ensure that as cases rise and patients become unwell, services will be stepped up to deal with this public health emergency.

Mid and West Wales representatives Eluned Morgan and Joyce Watson, Llanelli MS Lee Waters and MP Nia Griffith put forward a series of questions to Hywel Dda Health Board Chair Maria Battle and Medical Director Dr Phil Kloer in an hour long video conference. Key issues raised included the use of additional bed capacity, testing of staff and the community, the increased need for ventilators and staff; and the sharing of resources with local councils in the weeks and months ahead.

It is the first of several meetings that will be held with politicians to keep them updated on a rapidly changing situation, as efforts continue to be made to flatten the peak of the virus and pressures on our health service.

In a statement they said: “Hywel Dda Health Board and its partners are working together to maximise their resources to maintain vital services and to step up care when cases start to rise in this area. It is absolutely essential that in order to reduce the pressure on our NHS that we all heed advice on social distancing – to immediately avoid close contact in social situations, especially if they are showing symptoms, to be proactive about self-isolating where necessary and shielding those who are more vulnerable to this virus such as the over 70s and anyone with a serious pre-existing health condition.”

“What is clear is that we will need a whole community response to this significant challenge. The Health Board is clear about the resources they will need on planning health care for our local population. We will be continuing to stress to the UK Government the need to recognise the scale of resources needed and to ensure that Welsh Government has the necessary funds to pass on to the Health Board and councils. We want to take this opportunity to thank our NHS and social care workers who already doing a marvellous job. Now, we are asking that individuals, the third sector, businesses and the entire health community comes together like never before to support each other during this unprecedented period.”

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