Hywel Dda Health Board revise winter pressure surgery plans

Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth
Image caption Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth is one of the hospitals where the situation will be reviewed weekly.

Health chiefs in mid and west Wales have revised plans for elective orthopaedic surgery over the winter.

In October Hywel Dda Health Board said it would not carry out some elective orthopaedic operations like hip and knee replacements while it dealt with increased pressure on services.

Now it says it will maintain surgery at hospitals in Withybush, Llanelli and Aberystwyth but with reduced capacity.

The health board will discuss the plan later this month.

A spokesperson for the health board said the decision had been reached following widespread discussions with staff.

"We can confirm that subject to Board approval, it is intended to maintain elective orthopaedic surgery on all three sites over the winter period but with a reduced capacity," said a spokesperson for the health board.

"This will help us to reduce the number of postponed operations, provide additional staff support for emergency care and ensure those with the greatest clinical need are prioritised."

The hospitals affected are Glangwili Hospital, Withybush, Prince Philip, Llanelli and Bronglais, Aberystwyth.

"Day case orthopaedic and emergency orthopaedic operations will continue as normal.

"Our intention would be to keep this position under weekly review throughout the winter period."

The health board's complete winter plan will be discussed at the November meeting of the board.

"Details of how patients can raise personal queries will be provided separately and we will also be responding to individual patient queries raised with us over the last few weeks in the near future," the spokesperson added.

Last month the health service union Unison criticised the move to cut the number of operations saying it would result in longer delays for patients.

First Minister Carwyn Jones had said he backed the health board's plan to postpone some non-urgent surgery.

At the time the Conservatives said the move would have a "massive impact" on patients.

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