A SPIKE in the number of very poorly people arriving at A&E in Swansea and Bridgend is leading to delays elsewhere and cancelled operations, senior health figures have said.
According to Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABM) Health Board, the number of emergency medical patients admitted for treatment has been around 15 to 20 per cent higher than normal over the last three days.
Many have illnesses like heart problems and serious chest conditions - and these patients arriving at Morriston Hospital and the Pincess of Wales Hospital are taking priority over non-emergency cases.
"Please avoid coming to the Morriston or Princess of Wales hospitals' emergency departments unless you really need to," said emergency medicine consultant Andy MacNab.
People with minor conditions are asked to consider alternative options for care. The health board said the first port of call for most people would be to try to look after themselves, or visit the chemist or their GP.
It also encouraged people with minor injuries to consider visiting the minor injury units (MIU) at Neath Port Talbot and Singleton hospitals as the waiting time was often considerably shorter.
Mr MacNab added: "We are currently extremely busy, and if you are not an urgent or emergency case you may face delays before you can be seen. If you can go to one of the minor injury units instead, you are likely to be seen much quicker.
"In Neath Port Talbot MIU, for example, the vast majority of patients are treated within an hour of arriving."
The health board has apologised for inconvenience caused.
"Our staff are working hard to do all they can to minimise delays while ensuring they continue to deliver high quality care, and we are very grateful for their professionalism and hard work under pressure," said ABMU chief operating officer Alex Howells.
- The minor injury unit at Neath Port Talbot Hospital is open 24/7, and the unit at Singleton Hospital is open 8am-8pm daily.