A Welsh health board has closed a number of hospital wards to visitors due to a surge of coronavirus cases in the area.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said rising numbers of Covid patients at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital meant three of the hospital’s wards have been temporarily shut.
The number of confirmed cases on the wards has risen in line with a surge of confirmed cases in the community, it added.
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The Royal Glamorgan Hospital, in Llantrisant, stopped visiting hours on three of its wards on the same day the health board warned services were under “significant pressure” and rising rates of Covid in the area were “posing challenges for our teams”.
Earlier this week, an A&E doctor in Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales (UHW) described how he “cannot go on” following a brutal shift at Wales’ largest hospital. In an emotional outburst, Dr Farbod Babolhavaeji said: “Everything is at its limit. Everyone is working flat out. Every area is full to bursting.”
In the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area on Wednesday another doctor said hospital staff felt “demoralised” to see the virus filling wards and intensive care units again, especially the rising numbers of young unvaccinated people.
Meanwhile in west Wales Hywel Dda University Health Board has suspended some services and restricted access to some wards due to “widespread system pressures” on its hospitals.
One ward at Glangwli Hospital is shut, while orthopaedic surgery has been temporarily suspended at Prince Philip Hospital and Withybush Hospital.
On Thursday, September 2, Public Health Wales confirmed 2,275 new positive cases in Wales and five more people had died with coronavirus.
Infection rates in the Vale of Glamorgan are increasing almost daily now and currently stand at 351.8 per 100,000 population. In adjacent Rhondda Cynon Taf, infection rates are higher at 471.3 per 100,000 population. The all-Wales infection rate is 411.4 per 100,000.
A spokesperson for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said: “As a result of the increasing Covid cases on our wards, just as we are seeing in our communities, we have had to temporarily close three wards at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital to visiting.
“It’s important that if you are displaying any Covid symptoms, or have tested positive, or are awaiting a test result, that you do not visit wards.”
Visiting in “exceptional circumstances” may still be possible but will need to be discussed with relevant ward managers, they added. You can check the latest hospital visiting guidance here.
Speaking of pressures across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would firstly like to reassure our communities that what we are doing is all about prioritising patient safety at this time.
“I want to be clear that our urgent and emergency care services remain open for people who need to use them, and the measures we are putting in place will help to ensure that we can see these patients. Our skilled and compassionate staff are using their skills to prioritise and care for patients in the best way possible, and we are so grateful to them. However, we are still very much in this pandemic, which continues to disrupt our everyday lives, and unfortunately one of the consequences of this is that we are having to bring back temporary measures, including postponing some surgery in the short term, to ensure we can safely care for patients.”
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