The festive period has been extremely challenging for our staff. Numbers of COVID-19 patients needing hospital treatment have risen substantially in the past few weeks and in recent days we have seen those numbers reach their highest for many months. Our services, including our intensive care units, are currently under the most severe pressure.
As of yesterday (Monday), we had 559 suspected, confirmed or recovering COVID-19 patients in our hospitals. The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in ITUs across our sites was at its highest since the first peak of the pandemic. The situation is extremely serious.
Thanks to the dedication of our staff, many of whom have given up their leave over the festive break and volunteered to support their colleagues, and our recent decision to stand-down non-urgent services we are currently able to staff our departments. However, with rising numbers of both COVID and non-COVID patients needing care and treatment, combined with high levels of staff sickness, this is becoming increasingly challenging.
We would like to pay tribute to our staff who are working incredibly hard to care for our patients as we face this unprecedented demand for our emergency services.
We also need help from the public at this highly difficult time. We would ask anyone who has a relative who is ready to be safely discharged from our hospitals to help get them home as quickly as possible, so they can continue their recovery in the comfort of their own surroundings and help us with capacity.
We are also calling on the public to ensure they use services correctly if they feel unwell. You can visit NHS 111 Wales online or contact your local community pharmacist. If necessary you can also contact your local GP. Please only call 999 or attend the Emergency Department for life threatening symptoms.
Finally, we urge everyone to play their part and do everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Due to the alarming rates of the virus, Wales is now under alert level 4 restrictions. To save lives we need everyone to follow the rules – don’t mix with others and don’t put yourself or your loved ones at risk.