Wales

Winter pressures could 'cancel Wales NHS ops'

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Media captionDr Andrew Goodall said there is increased pressure on the NHS in Wales

Winter pressures on the NHS in Wales could force hospitals to cancel operations, its new chief executive has said.

Dr Andrew Goodall said a choice may have to be made between non-urgent surgery and emergency care.

He also suggested extra money recently allocated to the NHS would help it cope with extra demands.

But Dr Goodall said cancellations would be a last resort and he was confident staff would "step up to the mark".

"We know from our own evidence and statistics January will be busier," he told BBC Wales.

"Health boards will make judgements to postpone surgery, as in not booking patients in in the first place, in order to be able to focus on some of the pressures on the front door... we have other plans in place to draw patients through (the system) very quickly and discharge them very quickly."

Two hospitals, Morriston in Swansea and the Princess of Wales in Bridgend, have already cancelled some surgical procedures until after Christmas.

"Inevitably some health boards will make some decisions on a daily basis to cancel, although that would need to be a point of last resort," Dr Goodall said.

"But they will try to avoid cancellation in the first place because they know in January and February they need to focus on emergency pressure."

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