Health services across Powys under ‘significant pressure’
A range of Powys’ health services are under significant pressure, the health board has warned.
Powys Teaching Health Board’s primary and community care and hospital in-patient services, including doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies, optometry, and dentistry, are under large amounts of pressure, which is increasing daily.
In a plea to the local population, the health board is asking those that need medical care or advice for themselves or a loved one, to help make sure they receive the right level of service to meet their needs.
Hayley Thomas, director of primary care, community and mental health services for Powys Teaching Health Board, said: “High levels of attendance at GP surgeries and pharmacies throughout the county, combined with challenges to our professional and medical staff due to sickness absence caused by COVID-19, is putting health board and ambulance services under huge pressure.
“We are asking our local communities for their help. We remain very busy as we work to meet the safe health care needs of those with and without COVID-19.
“Our primary care teams are helping patients according to their clinical priority, but this does mean that many patients will experience longer waits than we would like. If you need medical help, please think carefully about the services you choose.”
If you are unwell and unsure what to do, you can visit the online symptom checker or call NHS 111 if you are unsure what help you need.
If you have a minor injury please visit one of the minor injury units (MIU). They can treat adults and children over 12-months of age, with injuries such as:
• Minor wounds, burns or scalds
• Insect bites
• Minor limb, head, or face injuries
• Foreign bodies in the nose or ear
Minor injuries units are at Breconshire War Memorial Hospital in Brecon; Ystradgynlais Community Hospital; Llandrindod Wells Memorial Hospital; and Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welshpool.
All minor injury units in Powys currently operate on a “phone first” basis. All patients are asked to phone before attending so that we can provide you with a telephone assessment and advice, and book you in for an appointment as appropriate. These arrangements are in place to keep you safe and keep our staff safe.
MIU contact numbers are:
Brecon: 01874 615800
Ystradgynlais: 01639 844777
Llandrindod Wells: 01597 828735
Welshpool: 01938 558919 or 01938 558931
The health board has urged residents to only attend an emergency department in one of our neighbouring health board areas if you have a life-threatening illness or serious injury, such as:
• Breathing difficulties
• Severe bleeding
• Persistent, severe chest pain
• Serious trauma injuries (e.g. from a car crash)
• Loss of consciousness
• Suspected stroke
• Acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
Depending on where you live in the county, your nearest 24-hour emergency departments are located at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil; Morriston Hospital in Swansea; The Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran; Hereford County Hospital; and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
The helpful My A&E Live website (aeinfo.nhs.wales/) gives live information on how busy accident and emergency and minor injuries units are at any one time.
Despite also facing a surge in demand, many community pharmacies can also provide walk-in, common ailment or triage and treat services without an appointment.
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