Health board issues warning of ‘unprecedented’ pressure on emergency and unplanned care services
Hywel Dda University Health Board is asking people to only attend its hospitals’ emergency departments if they have a life-threatening illness or have suffered a serious injury.
The health board says emergency and unplanned care services are under an unprecedented amount of pressure and the situation is expected to last until at least early next week
People are being urged to ensure they use the right level of service if they require treatment and relatives of patients currently in hospital are being encouraged to look after them at home if they are able to be discharged to ease pressure on beds.
Director of Operations Andrew Carruthers said: “We are dealing with a high number of attendances, particularly in our Emergency Departments.
“With the bank holidays ahead, we are keen that individuals choose the best level of care they need and help us to alleviate pressure on our Emergency Departments and across our services., including our GPs.
“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.
The health board is asking people to only attend an Emergency Department if they 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 (e.g. from a car crash)
If people have a less serious injury, they are urged to visit one a Minor Injury Units 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
Minor injury or walk-in services are available at Cardigan Integrated Care Centre, and Tenby Hospital, as well as the board’s main acute hospitals.
Additional information on how to access health and care during the bank holidays can be found here……..
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Wife vomiting in excruciating pain. Ambulance waiting time 5 hours. Taken by a car lying on the back seat to A and E. Booked in at 11 pm.” Could we have a trolley please?” “I don’t think we can manage that” was the response!!