Hywel Dda University Health Board is appealing for public support as its hospitals are operating under extreme pressure.  Whilst high levels of activity are usual in the winter, this year presents the extra challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a shortage of clinical staff.

The health board has responded to outbreaks of the virus in all of its acute general hospitals, resulting in closures of some wards in all acute hospitals in the Hywel Dda area during the past month.

Meanwhile, the health board has announced the transfer of all patients being treated at Llandovery Community Hospital, to Amman Valley Hospital, in Glanamman, near Ammanford, due to a number of staff, including nurses, at the two hospitals self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. This led to significant constraints on the workforce at both sites, which meant sustaining both community nursing and community hospital services became too challenging.

Community transmission of the virus is also very high across all three counties. In the last seven days, the case incidence rate in Carmarthenshire was 305.7 per 100,000 population, with a rate of 165.1 per 100,000 in Ceredigion and 170.1 per 100,000 in Pembrokeshire.

Because of these challenges, the health board is in a very difficult position as it cannot safely staff all of beds it would otherwise expect to have open at this point in the year. Additionally, it has had to transfer some staff and patients to field hospitals in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

The health board is therefore in need the public’s help to ease pressure on the system.

  • For urgent and emergency care only, call 999 – hospitals are continuing to see patients who have medical emergencies, as well as those on cancer pathways who have been asked to attend. There are measures in our hospitals designed to keep patients as safe as possible and people are urged to seek urgent medical attention if they need it.
  • If you have a non-urgent need, please seek alternatives to A&E such as calling 111, visiting your local community pharmacy or calling your doctor’s surgery.
  • Families with relatives in hospital who have tested negative for COVID-19 and are medically fit for discharge can play a crucial role in helping us by supporting discharge from hospital to home – please call the ward sister to discuss individual needs.
  • Protect the NHS – and help save lives. Following the government guidance and Keep Wales Safe by staying out of each other’s homes, except in very limited circumstances; limiting how many people you meet; maintaining social distancing; washing your hands regularly, and working from home if you can. 
    • Also, if you have symptoms, please stay at home, book a test and only leave home to get your test. For more information please visit this link.

Andrew Carruthers, Director of Operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said:

“A number of vaccines are being developed and yesterday’s news about the approval of one of these is a hugely welcome and positive development. But, it is critical for the public to understand that we are still at a very dangerous point in the cycle of the pandemic and there is still some way to go before we can return to normality.

“We are dealing with significantly more cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals than we previously had in the spring. Unfortunately, this has also affected our workforce and severely hampered our capacity and escalation plans.

“While we are confident that the number of declared hospital outbreaks is now going down, and that we are able to deep clean and re-open wards safely again, the single biggest issue we face remains staff sickness. This is having a critical effect on our ability to provide care for all but those with emergency / urgent medical conditions, or those who are accessing cancer services. We need to ensure that the services we provide are safe and prioritised in terms of clinical need, so that staff are operating safely.

“I want to be very clear that we will get through this, but we need the public’s help now to stop onward transmission of the virus in our communities and give our workforce a chance to recover, so that they are able to provide safe and effective care for our patients.”


Bwrdd Iechyd yn apelio am gefnogaeth y cyhoedd i leddfu’r pwysau ar ysbytai

Mae Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda yn apelio am gefnogaeth y cyhoedd gan fod ei ysbytai yn gweithredu dan bwysau eithafol. Er bod lefelau gweithgarwch yn uchel yn y gaeaf, mae eleni yn cynnwys heriau ychwanegol y pandemig COVID-19, gan gynnwys prinder staff clinigol.

Mae’r bwrdd iechyd wedi ymateb i achosion o’r feirws ym mhob un o’i ysbytai cyffredinol acíwt, gan arwain at gau rhai wardiau ym mhob ysbyty acíwt yn ardal Hywel Dda yn ystod y mis diwethaf.

Yn y cyfamser, cyhoeddodd y bwrdd iechyd ei fod yn trosglwyddo’r holl gleifion o Ysbyty Cymunedol Llanymddyfri i Ysbyty Dyffryn Aman yn Glanaman, ger Rhydaman, gan fod nifer o aelodau staff, gan gynnwys nyrsys, yn y ddau ysbyty yn hunan-ynysu ar ôl profi’n bositif am COVID-19. Arweiniodd hyn at gyfyngiadau sylweddol ar y gweithlu ar y ddau safle, a olygodd bod cynnal gwasanaethau ysbyty cymunedol a nyrsio cymunedol wedi mynd yn rhy heriol.

Mae trosglwyddiad y feirws yn y gymuned hefyd yn uchel iawn ar draws y tair sir. Yn y saith diwrnod ddiwethaf, nifer yr achosion o COVID-19 yn Sir Gaerfyrddin oedd 305.7 i bob 100,000 o’r boblogaeth, 165.1 i bob 100,000 yng Ngheredigion a 170.1 ym mhob 100,000 yn Sir Benfro.

Oherwydd yr heriau hyn, mae’r bwrdd iechyd mewn sefyllfa anodd iawn gan nad yw’n medru staffio’r holl welyau y byddai fel arall disgwyl iddynt fod ar agor ar yr adeg hon o’r flwyddyn. Yn ogystal, bu’n rhaid iddo drosglwyddo rhai staff a chleifion i ysbytai maes yn Sir Gaerfyrddin a Sir Benfro.

Felly, mae angen help y cyhoedd ar y bwrdd iechyd i leddfu’r pwysau ar y gwasanaeth.

  • I gael gofal brys ac mewn argyfwng yn unig, ffoniwch 999 – mae ysbytai yn parhau i weld cleifion sydd ag anghenion meddygol argyfyngol, yn ogystal â chleifion sydd ar lwybrau gofal canser y gofynnwyd iddynt fynychu. Yn ein hysbytai, mae mesurau ar waith y cynlluniwyd i gadw cleifion mor ddiogel â phosib, ac mae pobl yn cael eu hannog i geisio sylw meddygol os oes ei angen arnynt.
  • Os oes gennych angen nad yw’n argyfwng, ceisiwch ofal meddygol nad yw’n Uned Achosion Brys megis ffonio 111, ymweld â’ch fferyllfa leol neu ffonio eich meddygfa. 
  • Gall teuluoedd sydd â pherthnasau mewn ysbyty sydd wedi profi’n negative am COVID-19 ac sy’n feddygol addas i gael eu rhyddhau o ysbyty, chwarae rhan hanfodol yn ein helpu trwy gynorthwyo’r broses o ryddhau o ysbyty i’r cartref – ffoniwch Brif Nyrs y ward i drafod anghenion unigol.
  • Diogelu’r Gwasanaeth Iechyd – a helpu i achub bywydau. Dilyn arweiniad y llywodraeth a Cadw Cymru yn Ddiogel trwy aros allan o gartrefi ein gilydd, ac eithrio mewn amgylchiadau cyfyngedig iawn; cyfyngu faint o bobl rydych chi’n cwrdd â nw; cynnal pellter cymdeithasol; golchi’ch dwylo’n rheolaidd, a gweithio o gartref os gallwch chi.
    • Hefyd, os oes gennych symptomau, arhoswch gartref, archebwch brawf a dim ond gadael gartref i gael eich prawf. Am fwy o wybodaeth ewch i’r wefan hon.

Meddai Andrew Carruthers, Cyfarwyddwr Gweithrediadau Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda:

“Mae nifer o frechlynnau’n cael eu datblygu ac mae’r newyddion am gymeradwyo un o’r rhain yn ddatblygiad cadarnhaol iawn. Ond, mae’n hanfodol i’r cyhoedd ddeall ein bod yn dal i fod ar bwynt peryglus iawn yng nghylch y pandemig ac mae cryn dipyn i’w wneud eto cyn y gallwn ddychwelyd i normalrwydd.

“Rydym yn delio â llawer mwy o achosion COVID-19 yn ein hysbytai nag yn y gwanwyn. Yn anffodus, mae hyn hefyd wedi effeithio ar ein gweithlu ac wedi effeithio’n ddifrifol ar ein capasiti a rhwystro ein cynlluniau uwchgyfeirio.

“Er ein bod yn hyderus bod nifer yr achosion datganedig mewn ysbytai bellach yn gostwng, a’n bod yn gallu glanhau wardiau yn ddwfn a’u hail-agor yn ddiogel, y broblem fwyaf sy’n ein hwynebu o hyd yw salwch staff. Mae hyn yn cael effaith ddifrifol ar ein gallu i ddarparu gofal i bawb ond y rhai â chyflyrau meddygol argyfyngol / brys, neu’r rhai hynny sy’n defnyddio gwasanaethau canser. Mae angen i ni sicrhau bod y gwasanaethau rydym yn eu darparu yn ddiogel ac yn cael eu blaenoriaethu o ran angen clinigol, fel bod staff yn gweithredu’n ddiogel.

“Rwyf am fod yn glir iawn y byddwn yn dod trwy hyn, ond mae angen help y cyhoedd arnom nawr i atal trosglwyddo’r feirws yn ein cymuned a rhoi cyfle i’n gweithlu wella, fel eu bod yn gallu darparu gofal diogel ac effeithiol i’n cleifion.”


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