TEMPORARY changes are being made at two wards in Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, to protect patients and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The stroke rehabilitation ward, Ward 9, and older adult mental health ward, Bryngolau, are temporarily closed to new admissions following a small number of individuals, including staff and patients, testing positive for COVID-19. There are less than 15 individuals between the two areas with confirmed positive COVID-19.

All patients in these areas have been tested and are being cared for appropriately with regular communication with them and their families or carers. Affected staff are also being tested, with appropriate staffing arrangements in place, including stringent infection prevention and control measures and appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment.

Hywel Dda University Health Board wanted to reassure people in the Llanelli area that they were still safely accepting stroke patients at Prince Philip Hospital, through the Acute Stroke Unit, and providing alternative care for older adult mental health. Robust contingency plans are in place to ensure the best possible care is provided to patients when they need it.

Hospital Director and Respiratory Consultant Dr Robin Ghosal said: “COVID-19 is circulating in our communities, but thanks to testing and tracing, and stringent infection prevention measures, we are much more aware and able to deal with risks in order to protect our patients, staff and wider community.

“This is why we have contained two areas of Prince Philip Hospital at present. The two situations are not interlinked and we are closely monitoring the situation and working with partners including Public Health Wales and the local authority.

“It is clear that COVID-19 cases are rising in our area and we would like to take this opportunity to ask everyone to follow the guidelines that are in place to protect us all.

“Please keep yourselves and your loved ones safe by washing your hands regularly, staying 2 metres apart from people outside of your household, and wearing a facemask when it is not possible to be 2 meters apart. In Llanelli there are currently extra regulations because we are in a health protection zone. This means not entering or leaving the area without a reasonable excuse or meeting indoors with people not in your household.

“We know this feels hard right now as we live and work in this community, but taking these steps protects us all.”

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 – a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – please book a test through the UK-wide website or via the national bilingual telephone service by dialling 119 between the hours of 7am and 11pm (people with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119).

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