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Unprecedented pressure in Hywel Dda UHB services today

Emergency sign

Our emergency and unplanned care services in community and hospital settings are under an unprecedented amount of pressure today. If you or a loved one needs emergent or urgent care, you can help by using the right level of service to meet your need.  

Hywel Dda University Health Board Director of Operations Andrew Carruthers said: “We are dealing with a combination of high numbers of attendances, particularly in our Emergency Departments, and challenges in health professional staffing due to COVID-19.  

Our GP practices and hospitals are busy and we still need to follow specific requirements for the safe treatment of those patients with COVID-19 and those without. 

We are working with our local authorities as there are difficulties in discharging some patients due to similar staffing challenges the social care sector is facing. This means we have very limited beds available to accommodate patients who need admission. 

Our teams are helping patients by their clinical priority, but this does mean that in some cases, waits in our Emergency Departments are hours long and far in excess of what we would strive to deliver. 

If you need medical help, please think carefully about the services you choose. 

If you are unwell and unsure what to do, you can visit the online symptom checker or call NHS 111 if you are unsure what help you need 

Only attend an Emergency Department if you have a life-threatening illness or serious injury, such as: 

  • Severe breathing difficulties 
  • Severe pain or bleeding 
  • Chest pain or a suspected stroke 
  • Serious trauma injuries (eg. from a car crash) 

If you have a less serious injury then please visit one of our Minor Injury Units. They can treat adults and children over 12-months of age, with injuries such as:

  • Minor wounds 
  • Minor burns or scalds 
  • Insect bites 
  • Minor limb, head, or face injuries (* see note) 
  • Foreign bodies in the nose or ear 

We have minor injury or walk-in services at Llandovery Hospital, Cardigan Integrated Care Centre, and Tenby Hospital, as well as at our main acute hospitals. For opening hours, please check our website. 

Many community pharmacies can also provide walk-in, common ailment or triage and treat services without an appointment. You can find out more here: 

If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with homecare and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home.  

If your relative is waiting for a formal package of care, you may be able to offer support and care on a short term, temporary arrangement or you might want to consider whether your loved one could be supported in a temporary residential or nursing care setting. If you feel that this is an option that you could consider, please speak to the ward manager or your social worker to explore further and see what support is available to you.  

Spending as little time in hospital is better for patients and means that NHS beds can be freed up for others with urgent care needs. Supporting older patients to get home from hospital efficiently is an important part of their recovery and it also protects them from negative consequences of hospital admission, such as hospital acquired infection, falls and a loss of independence. You can find out more about the hospital discharge process and guidance here: 

Please help us to make our service safer by sharing this information with friends and family, thank you.