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Health services being stood down due to spike in cases

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has begun to stand down some services in order to redeploy staff to assist in maintaining core and emergency functions amid rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.

Speaking at a full meeting of Bridgend County Borough Council on Wednesday, 16 December, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s chief executive Paul Mears said 116 patients are currently being treated for or recovering from Covid-19 at the Princess of Wales Hospital. An additional 53 patients are recovering at Bridgend’s field hospital Ysbyty’r Seren.

Mr Mears said: “The very, very high rates of infection in our area – one of the highest in the UK, not just Wales – is already putting a huge amount of pressure on our services. Looking forward to January, we anticipate a large spike which means we will have to look into what services we can provide in the New Year and what will have to be stood down to free up resources.”

Many health and social care staff are off work with Covid-19 in Cwm Taf Morgannwg and this brings additional challenges in delivering services. The health board has announced:

  • All non-urgent outpatient clinics will be postponed – this includes face to face and virtual
  • All non-urgent planned surgery will be postponed
  • All specialist nurse clinics will be postponed
  • All non-urgent diagnostic services (e.g. radiology/endoscopy) will be postponed
  • Urgent cancer services and clinically urgent patients will continue to be seen

The health board will issue updates if there are any further changes. It is also working to ensure the rapid and risk assessed discharge of all medically fit patients who no longer need hospital care and the Covid-19 vaccination programme will continue to be delivered.

Mr Mears told Wednesday’s meeting that the health board is working with council colleagues to try to limit the amount of time patients are waiting to leave hospital by ensuring support is in place for them to go back to their own homes or a care home safely.

Explaining why Ysbyty’r Seren was only being used for those who are recovering from Covid-19, rather than all patients with the virus, he said there are no facilities at the field hospital to isolate people easily.

A serious situation lies before us as a result of the increase in cases of coronavirus. Social services is facing additional pressure as a result of an increase in staff absences, either because of Covid-19 or due to a need to self-isolate.

I would urge all Bridgend County Borough residents to continue to follow guidance on wearing a mask, socially distancing, washing hands and consider the possible consequences of their actions.

If we act now, we can help to protect our friends, family, neighbours and ourselves from this deadly virus.

Cabinet member for social services and early help Nicole Burnett

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, either a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you must self-isolate immediately and apply for a coronavirus test.

For guidance about self-isolating, visit the Welsh Government’s webpage and for details about Covid-19 tests, call 119 or visit the coronavirus page at the Welsh Government website.

For more information about the temporary changes to services, visit the Cwm Taf Morgannwg website.

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