South West Wales

Patients warned they cannot access out-of-hours GPs

Glangwili hospital

Patients in Carmarthenshire have been left with no access to out-of-hours GP care this weekend amid a serious shortage of GPs.

Hywel Dda University Health Board apologised and said efforts were continuing to fill shifts at two hospitals.

Patients attending Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen will not be able to see a GP from 14:00 to 19:00 BST on Saturday.

There are also shortages at Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital.

Shifts there have not been filled between 18:00 and 23:00 on Saturday and from 19:00 to 23:00 on Sunday.

There is, however, overnight cover.

"We have recently seen an improvement in staffing the GP out-of-hours rota, although we are unfortunately continuing to experience GP shortages from time to time," deputy chief executive and director of operations Joe Teape said.

"The public's health is our priority and although we sometimes cannot achieve everything that we want to, we are doing our utmost to ensure we can continue to provide services that are safe and robust for our local communities."

It comes less than two months after four centres in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion could not open due to "an acute GP shortage" in March.

That shortage hit patients attending Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital, Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest, and in Llandysul.

The health board said patients could call 111 to signpost them to the right service or attend a minor injury unit, available at Glangwili, Prince Philip Hospital and Llandovery.

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