30 December 2021
Our staff are working tirelessly each day in the face of unparalleled pressures and challenge. They continue to go above and beyond to prioritise the care and treatment of urgent and emergency patients. We are immensely proud of the collective effort that our whole workforce continues to make. Unfortunately, we can confirm that the current wave of Covid-19 infections is beginning to have a serious negative impact, with significantly higher than usual staff absences across hospitals, community services and primary care, including GP surgeries. This means you may have to wait longer than usual, but all services continue to prioritise according to clinical need. We are asking our communities, patients, visitors and members of the public to follow the guidance below:
- Remember there is support to care for yourself when appropriate, for example at https://111.wales.nhs.uk/livewell/caringforyourself/ and through the online symptom checker.
- Our community pharmacists can provide some walk-in care, and treatments for common ailments, find your nearest service here: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/pharmacy/; as well as our minor injury units: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/hospitals-and-centres/minor-injuries-units/
- If you have a serious, life threatening emergency please continue to call 999.
- If it’s urgent (but not an emergency), visit the NHS111 Wales symptom checker, dial 111, or seek urgent care through your GP.
- If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is medically fit but is waiting to be discharged, you may be able to help us by providing short term care or considering interim placements in care homes.
- Our vaccination programmes for both COVID-19 and flu continue at an unprecedented scale and remain a key part of our defence against these viruses. All our mass vaccination centres are now offering drop-ins for COVID-19 first, second, third and booster vaccines for those eligible – please attend for yours if you have not already. For information on eligibility and opening times, visit https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/covid-19-information/covid-19-vaccination-programme/
- Follow Welsh Government and local guidance.
- Work from home whenever you can if appropriate.
- Be vigilant with good hygiene practices to avoid spreading infection in our communities.
- Good ventilation is important if indoors and remember outdoors is safer where possible.
- Keep a safe distance.
- Carry out LFD self-tests particularly before going into higher risk situations, such as spending time in crowded or enclosed spaces; visiting people who are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or travelling to other areas of Wales or the UK.
- Lateral flow self-test kits can be obtained by ordering online for home delivery https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or by collecting locally from most community pharmacies: Check here for participating pharmacies near you https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/ Please remember to report your test results, negative or positive, on the UK Government portal here https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result/ If it’s positive, don’t go out. Self-isolate and arrange for a PCR test – book here https://gov.wales/get-tested-coronavirus-covid-19 or call 119. NB we are aware there is national unprecedented demand for PCR and LFT tests. At times to support distribution and remain within the capacity at the laboratories, there may be temporary pauses in ordering and you may not be able to access the tests you need from gov.uk. The Government is advising you keep checking every few hours as more PCR and LFD tests become available every day.
If you need to come into our hospitals at any time, you must:
- Carry out a lateral flow device (LFD) test at home and have a negative result from that test prior to travelling to the hospital.
- Wear a mask before entering the hospital;
- Ensure you maintain a two metres distance from others;
- Wash your hands regularly;
If you need to visit someone in hospital, please remember this must be pre-booked with the charge nurse or ward sister. More information about hospital visiting is available on our website though please note this is subject to change at short notice.