Commenting on reports of severe pressures being experienced at Withybush Hospital Shadow Health Minster and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Angela Burns said;
“I am extremely concerned about the reports of severe pressures at Withybush Hospital.
“I have contacted the Director of Operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board to obtain a clearer understanding of the situation and have received reassurances that the Health Board do have contingency plans in place to try and address many of the short term problems, but there are long term issues which need to be tackled.
“We all know that pressures are always high during the winter but this year has not seen the pressures reduce with the advent of summer.
“I will always advocate that people should choose wisely when deciding to attend A&E and should only do so if it the only option left to them and I think that this is even more important now.
“My concerns exist however around the length of time that patients are waiting for transfer from ambulance to A&E and the length of waits that patients are experiencing once in A&E before they are moved to the ward.
“I have also been hearing from local doctors that it can take around 12 weeks / 3 months for a patient to get assessed and a County Council funded care package put in place.
“Fundamentally the issue is that there is not enough capacity in the care sector in Pembrokeshire and some of this is down to service providers in the sector experiencing financial difficulties. It is a hard job and many staff don’t get paid all their costs therefore making it a less attractive career. Moving forward this is a false economy. Every minute a person stays in a hospital bed longer than they need too rather than at home with a funded care package or in a care setting is not conducive to the patients recovery and costs the Health Board money.
“We must all work together to find a way forward to solve the care crisis in Wales. I want to pay tribute to the staff working in the care sector in Pembrokeshire as well as the front line staff at Withybush. I acknowledge that they are working under enormous pressure whilst providing an excellent service to patients. We need to ensure that more resources made available to the care sector in West Wales or we will see ever more incidences where hospitals are unable to cope with the number of patients in the system.”