Hospitals' plea to use A&E sensibly
PEOPLE are being urged to call an ambulance only in serious emergencies as health service managers in Carmarthenshire say they are dealing with a rise in patient numbers.
Hywel Dda Health Board says Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen and its other three general hospitals have seen a sudden and unexpected increase in admissions.
It has called on people to help them reduce the pressures by choosing the right path for treatment.
A health board spokeswoman said: "We have got an increase in accident and emergency attendances compared to February."
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Mark Brandreth, director of planning and operations, said: "Hospitals across Wales are very busy dealing with many poorly patients. For example, there has been unprecedented ambulance attendances at Welsh hospitals, currently 22 per cent above the predictions for this time of year.
"In order to manage these patients we have taken immediate action, including postponing some planned surgery so that clinical resources can support the demand in our emergency departments."
The spokeswoman added: "Our staff continue to work extremely hard and flexibly to help us through this busy period and we are grateful for their support."
The board is urging people to consider what treatment they need as part of the Choose Well scheme.
Those who have a minor injury or illness should consider self care, advice or community support from local pharmacists.
For routine medical or dental care, people are asked to contact their GP or dentist.
"If you need urgent health care for your physical and mental health, phone your GP surgery or the GP out of hours service," said a spokeswoman.
"Some areas also have minor injury services."
Only in serious emergencies should you consider calling 999 and asking for the ambulance service, or attend the nearest accident and emergency department.