2 September 2021
Hywel Dda University Health Board is taking action to ensure critical care for patients most in need is delivered in hospitals, community and primary care settings, despite widespread system pressures.
NHS bodies across Wales, and indeed the UK are facing multiple challenges including the impact of staff leave and self-isolation, difficulties in discharging medically-fit patients, high emergency demand, and within the Hywel Dda area, an increase in Covid patients being admitted to our hospitals.
In response to this situation, Hywel Dda UHB has re-introduced some temporary measures, with the aim of continuing to provide as much planned surgery as possible, while also ensuring that we have the necessary ability to safely care for patients in emergency situations. This is in the midst of what remains an extremely challenging, ongoing pandemic.
Measures include taking the difficult decision to temporarily suspend elective orthopaedic surgery at Prince Philip Hospital and Withybush Hospital, so we can provide more bed capacity in non-Covid-19 areas and reduce pressures on our unscheduled care system. However, significant theatre work, treatment and investigations still continue across our sites.
The health board can also confirm that, as of Wednesday (01 September 2021), we have temporarily closed admissions and visiting to one ward at Glangwili Hospital to manage a Covid-19 outbreak, with additional precautions also being taken at a further two wards. Visiting to all wards remains restricted and by appointment only. For any queries please contact the ward manager to discuss.
Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would firstly like to reassure our communities that what we are doing is all about prioritising patient safety at this time.
“I want to be clear that our urgent and emergency care services remain open for people who need to use them, and the measures we are putting in place will help to ensure that we can see these patients. Our skilled and compassionate staff are using their skills to prioritise and care for patients in the best way possible, and we are so grateful to them. However, we are still very much in this pandemic, which continues to disrupt our everyday lives, and unfortunately one of the consequences of this is that we are having to bring back temporary measures, including postponing some surgery in the short term, to ensure we can safely care for patients.
“The rise in cases in Hywel Dda shows that, whilst hospital admissions are not as high as in previous waves, COVID-19 remains a serious risk to our health and our health service. I’m appealing to everyone to continue doing their bit by sticking with the ‘keep safe’ behaviours that have been shown to reduce spread of the virus. Without your help, we will see more cases which puts individuals at risk and can disrupt delivery of public services here in west Wales.”
Over the course of the pandemic the health board has introduced a number of new ways of working to help see and treat patients across both primary and secondary care, including remote telehealth and telemedicine clinics run by our GPs, and our Waiting List Support Service, which is designed to help manage patients and their care while they wait for their operation or procedure. A significant amount of work in theatres and other care is still continuing across all of our sites and we are extremely proud of our staff for their continued efforts to deliver this.
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