Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has tonight asked local people for support and to think twice before coming to the University Hospital of Wales' Emergency Unit.
It follows what they call an unprecedented influx of patients over the past 48 hours.
UHB Medical Director Dr. Graham Shortland said the health board was asking for support from the public to reduce the pressure on clinical teams, so they could focus on caring for the sickest patients.
While the sickest and most vulnerable patients are being seen promptly and there are no significant ambulance delays, we would like to ask local people to help us by not coming to hospital with minor illnesses or minor injuries that can be easily dealt with.
Patients who do come to the Emergency Unit with these minor conditions can expect significant waits for treatment, because we are mobilising our resources and focusing our energies on those patients with the greatest clinical need.
This is not a new message, and we ask people throughout the year to make sensible use of the Emergency Unit, but this is even more important when we have so many seriously ill patients at this time of year who need our care the most.”
Doctors at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are concerned that a large number of vulnerable people have not had their flu jab.
According to the latest figures more than half of those at risk under 65 in Cardiff and the Vale have not yet had their jab.
Uptake in the area is well below the Welsh average.
People in at-risk groups are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people should have a flu jab each year, the Health Board is warning.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says there have been 42 calls to the helpline it set up for anyone who is concerned about the surgical care they received relating to liver surgery between February 2011 and October 2012.
The hotline has taken a number of calls, including some from other parts of the UK, and nursing staff have been providing information and reassurance to members of the public. We are also pleased that the two remaining families who we have been trying to contact for some time have been in touch and we can offer them appropriate support.
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has commissioned an independent review into work of a suspended liver surgeon in Wales who previous worked at its hospitals.
In a statement, it said some of Professor David Berry's results were "lower than expected."
This is specialist surgery and there are a number of reasons why this might be the case, so rather than speculate we have asked the Royal College of Surgeons to carry out an independent, impartial review of Professor Berry’s cases and once that review is complete we will report back
– Dr Kevin Harris, Medical Director at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
This matter has been referred to us by the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Following a report from the Royal College of Surgeons into the specifics of this case we have liaised with the Coroner and are now in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service to examine the facts.
Lawyers representing the family of a man whose ‘avoidable’ death was linked to suspended liver surgeon David Paul Berry have called for Cardiff & the Vale University Health Board to make the findings of its internal inquiry public.
We are shocked and deeply concerned to learn of the scale of the number of avoidable deaths linked to Mr Berry’s surgery during his short time at University Hospital Wales.
Eight avoidable deaths within just 18 months is very concerning and the health board must provide urgent answers to all those affected about how this could have happened.
Martyn Rogers who died of blood poisoning and acute liver failure on 25 July last year, a week after undergoing surgery by Mr Berry to remove tumours from his liver.
His partner Maria Davies says she is "shocked to the core" after learning the deaths of other patients may have been preventable.
Our client Maria, and no doubt the other families who have lost loved ones, now deserve quick and transparent information from the Board about exactly what has gone wrong, how it could go wrong and what action is being taken to protect patient safety and prevent any further avoidable deaths.
The Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats says the "avoidable" deaths of eight patients under the care of a specialist liver surgeon is "shocking".
Kirsty Williams says that she is "seriously concerned" and wants the Health Minister to answer urgent questions.
I am seriously concerned about the avoidable deaths that have occurred at UHW.For eight patients to die unnecessarily at the hands of a specialist surgeon in the Welsh NHS is shocking.The death of a loved one is difficult to accept in any circumstance. What makes this situation even worse is the fact that these deaths were avoidable.I want the Health Minister to answer urgent questions from Assembly Members as soon as possible to ensure that events like this cannot happen again in our NHs."
– Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has set up a helpline for anyone who is concerned about the surgical care they received in relation to liver surgery between February 2011 and October 2012.
The University Health Board says that no current liver patients are "at risk".
The news comes after a specialist liver surgeon who was linked to the "avoidable deaths" of eight patients he operated on in South Wales has been suspended.
Every death is a tragedy for the family concerned, but we do not underestimate the impact of a death in these circumstances. We would like at the outset to put on record our unreserved apologies to every family who has been affected.
The UHB has been in dialogue with the majority of those families concerned for some time and has put individual advocates in place to support them through this difficult period.
As a health board, our absolute focus is on the safety and quality of the care we give to our patients. Anomalies in this surgeon’s results were picked up by us from routine clinical data, which we scrutinise rigorously across the organisation.
We have worked with the Royal College of Surgeons, and our own staff, to make sure we are clear about the numbers of people whose care and treatment may have been affected by this issue.
We appreciate this is a worrying time for patients and their families and would like to reassure patients who are receiving or awaiting liver surgery at the moment that the UHB has full confidence in the current liver service at the University Hospital of Wales.
– Dr Graham Shortland, UHB Medical Director
Tonight the University Health Board has set up a helpline for anyone who is concerned about the surgical care they received in relation to liver surgery between February 2011 and October 2012.