Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board has announced what it calls the "difficult decision" to postpone non-urgent operations, procedures and outpatient appointments with immediate effect from today (Monday 20 December 2021).
Despite seeing a big increase in the number of COVID-19 vaccines given out across North Wales, the health board predicted that a significant number of staff may be absent from work due to COVID-19 infection or self-isolation over the coming weeks.
With this in mind, they have "reluctantly taken the very difficult decision" to postpone non-urgent procedures.
They have also asked that all other non-essential services are paused to allow staff to be released to support the vaccination campaign.
All emergency surgery, urgent cancer treatment and maternity services will continue across their three main hospitals:
Ysbyty Glan Clwyd
In addition, all patients whose procedures will be postponed will be contacted directly and are asked not to contact the hospitals.
Dr Nick Lyons, Executive Medical Director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone non-urgent procedures and outpatient appointments until 4 January, 2022.
“This is the best way of protecting our workforce and delivering our vaccination programme which has been rapidly accelerated to be completed by the end of this month. In turn, this will help to protect our services throughout the winter months.
“We understand this will be distressing news for patients who are expecting to undergo an operation or receive their appointment over the coming weeks and I sincerely apologise for this.
“We will be regularly reviewing these changes in light of emerging evidence and transmission rates across North Wales.”