'Shutdown will hit the vulnerable hardest'
A CARMARTHENSHIRE AM is among those fearing her operation may be postponed as a result of the move by the Hywel Dda Health Board.
Angela Burns, pictured, Conservative AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has warned that Hywel Dda Health Board's plans will leave patients in limbo and hit the elderly hardest.
Mrs Burns, who is waiting for a knee replacement surgery, said: "This shutdown will unfairly hit the elderly and vulnerable hardest — many of whom would have been waiting for months already.
"While conditions requiring orthopaedic surgery may not be life threatening, the constant pain, loss of mobility and pure daily effort to live with these conditions is immense.
"The thought of waiting another six months for my own knee replacement fills me with dread — and I know there are many, many more in far worse situations and far more pain than myself.
"I cannot begin to comprehend the feelings of some people who attend my surgeries to tell me that they cannot stand long enough to cook and rely on ready meals alone. My heart goes out to these patients and their families and I will fight loudly and consistently against these plans.
"The pressures placed upon health boards across Wales are immense and I sincerely hope this is not the first of many to take such drastic action. Labour's record-breaking cuts and its failure to recruit staff are hampering hardworking staff and I urge ministers to put an end to these mistakes."