Planned surgery has been postponed at Wrexham Maelor Hospital due to the rising number of patients being treated there for coronavirus.
From Monday, the majority of procedures will be postponed for an initial period of two weeks which will then be reviewed. All emergency surgery, upper gastro-intestinal surgery, endoscopy procedures and caesarian sections will continue as normal.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said the number of patients being treated for COVID-19, which currently stands at 128, has had a ''significant impact'' on their ability to provide routine services at the hospital.
The move will allow the hospital to expand critical care capacity to treat those who are seriously ill with virus.
What services are affected?
Ear Nose and Throat (ENT)
All patients affected will be contacted by the health board and some will be offered their procedure at Ysbyty Gwynedd, near Bangor, if clinically appropriate.
Routine face-to-face appointments will move to online or telephone consultation but urgent outpatient appointments will continue at the hospital.
All planned Orthopaedic surgery across the whole of North Wales will also be postponed.
Professor Arpan Guha, Acting Executive Medical Director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “There are many patients expecting to undergo an operation in Wrexham over the coming weeks and we recognise how anxious and worried they will already be about having surgery during the current surge of the pandemic.
“We are sorry for any further distress or inconvenience this decision may cause and would like to reassure those affected that we are doing all we can to prioritise patients in the most urgent need of care.
“Our priority is to provide the safest possible environment for surgical patients. This clinically led decision has been made after reviewing predicted demand on our services from both COVID-19 and winter pressures.
“Our staff are doing all they can to provide the best care for all patients while dealing with the challenges caused by the absences of colleagues due to COVID-19 infection, isolating and shielding.”