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Only go to A&E with life threatening conditions public warned

18 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Image: Hywel Dda University Health Board

Health chiefs are appealing to people across mid and west Wales only to go to A&E for life threatening conditions.

Hywel Dda University Health Board is urging people to not attend A&E departments over the festive period unless it’s a critical emergency.

This is so that the health board can avoid ambulances queuing up outside busy emergency departments or being diverted to other hospitals.

People with urgent care needs that cannot wait but are not 999 emergencies should dial 111 for NHS Direct Wales for health advice and support.

The number is free to call and this service is available even when a GP surgery is open.

111 is also the number to access out-of-hours GP services across the health board area.


The health board has said its focus is on managing the capacity it has in acute hospitals and busy emergency departments, while also reducing the amount of time patients need to spend in a hospital bed, by providing as much non-emergency and follow up care outside of the hospital environment as possible.

If you have a friend, family member or loved one who is medically well enough to be discharged from hospital, the health board has asked that they’re picked up promptly.

This will allow hospitals to free up beds faster for acutely unwell patients and keep the patient flow steady.


Andrew Carruthers, Executive Director of Operations at Hywel Dda, said: “I would like firstly to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our clinical workforce for their relentless effort and determination to provide the best quality of care possible to our patients and communities often in the most difficult of circumstances.

“They are the very embodiment of all that’s good about the NHS and what the health service stands for, and they should all be very proud.

“The challenges of accessing care and treatment, particularly in the post-Covid era, are well-documented nationally and sadly Hywel Dda is not immune to these.

“The way that we try to manage the challenges we face is by adopting an approach, which brings together our acute hospitals, primary care and community services, ambulance service, local authorities and the third sector.

“We need everyone to play their part and help – and our public and patients are absolutely key to this.”

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 a 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
  • Foreign bodies in the nose or ear

There is a minor injury or walk-in services at Cardigan Integrated Care Centre (Monday – Friday 8.00am – 6.30pm. Bank Holidays, 9.00am – 4:30pm) and Tenby Hospital (Monday – Friday 10.00am – 5.00pm including Bank Holidays) as well as at our main acute hospitals. For opening hours, please check our website. Home – Hywel Dda University Health Board (

Many community pharmacies can also provide walk-in, common ailment or triage and treat services without an appointment.

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Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
6 months ago

Where do people living in Mid Wales go if they are desperate and need a hospital with an A & E department?

Rhddwen y Sais
5 months ago
Reply to  Iago Traferth

A lot g long way and now that Shropshire A&E is overwhelmed New Cross is a better alternative

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