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Warning to think twice about attending hospital emergency departments

Staff have been brought in off their holidays in response to increased demand Credit: PA

Hospitals in north Wales say they are facing 'extremely high levels of demand' and have urged people to think twice about attending A&E departments.

A short while ago it's estimated that there were four ambulances outside Wrexham, six outside Glan Clwyd with two more en route to the hospital with two ambulances outside Ysbyty Gwynedd.

In response we have opened additional beds at all our acute hospitals, but the number of extra beds that we can open is limited by the number of nursing staff that are available to safely cover these extra spaces.

We are very grateful to nursing colleagues who are working extra shifts and coming in from annual leave to ensure that we can keep patients safe. We are also working closely with colleagues in local authorities and our other partners to try to minimise any delays in discharging patients who are ready to leave hospital.

– Nigel Lee, Director of Secondary Care

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Patients urged to avoid Newport and Abergavenny A&Es

Credit: ITV News

Patients with minor injuries or illnesses are being urged to avoid A&E at hospitals in Newport and Abergavenny this weekend.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board says staff at the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall hospitals are dealing with a high number of emergency cases and levels of medical and surgical emergency cases are much higher than normal.

Our hospitals are under a lot of pressure at the moment. Our dedicated and committed staff are doing everything possible for patients, but because it is so busy we are requesting that people avoid attending A&E unless they are seriously ill or injured. If anyone attends with an illness or injury which would be better treated elsewhere, they will face long waits because our staff have to prioritise the care of very sick patients.

– Judith Paget, Aneurin Bevan University Healthboard chief executive

Patients with are advised to call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, visit their local pharmacist or attend the minor injury unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach.

Calls for former coke plant workers to seek compensation before deadline

Former Coke Oven site Credit: Tonyrefail.org

Former employees of coke plants in Wales who may have developed cancer or lung disease after exposure to harmful fumes, are being urged to join others in seeking compensation.

Lawyers say anyone who may have been affected by the conditions they worked in have until 24th April to raise their concerns.

We believe there are still many people who are affected by conditions they worked in and it's imperative they contact us before the court order deadline of 24th April, because claiming after that date is going to be incredibly difficult

– Kathryn Singh, Hugh James Lawyers

Alexandra Lodge has been to meet a former worker from Pontypridd who now struggles with breathing problems.

He's urging others to come forward too.

Watch her full report here:

Welsh Ambulance Services on target despite record number of calls

The Welsh Ambulance Service stayed on target for the fifth month in a row despite receiving the joint highest number of emergency calls since monthly records began in 2006.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

There were 37,560 emergency calls in February with 1,801 of these considered as 'red calls'. Half of all calls from people with an immediately life-threatening illness or injury were responded to within six minutes.

The Welsh Ambulance Service has again exceeded the eight-minute response time target in February for life-threatening calls in the face of exceptionally high demand.

The vast majority of people who needed an immediate emergency response received one in less than eight minutes – with almost half of all red calls receiving a response within just six minutes.

The new clinical response model is providing fast responses to people who need an immediate intervention from our emergency ambulance crews.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Deputy Health Minister

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More NHS eye care to be provided in local communities

People who have had cataract operations and those with suspected glaucoma will receive follow-up treatment and checks at their local optometrists instead of in hospital, the Welsh Government has announced.

Credit: Jens Kalaene/PA Images

The move is intended to ensure that people are seen more quickly, closer to their homes and to help ensure that hospital-based opthalmologists are free to manage patients with the most complex conditions.

This is the latest step in our plan to move care for people with a range of eye conditions away from hospital-based services, into the community and closer to people's homes. We want to make follow-up appointments and ongoing care more convenient for patients so they can access the treatment they need at the time they want.

– Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething
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