Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB will be postponing routine surgery, outpatient clinics and appointments from Friday March 20th.
The decision to postpone these planned treatments and appointments has been taken so clinicians can train, plan and prioritise delivery of emergency services as the health board responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health teams are carefully reviewing their lists to identify which patients might need additional support during this time, and all patients will be contacted about their care.
John Palmer, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Decisions to postpone activity are never easy, but it is vital that we do this so we can protect our staff and patients and ensure we are fully prepared to deal with COVID-19. We will be contacting all patients who are due to have appointments or treatments with us.
“We thank all our staff for continuing to work incredibly hard in this very fast-changing situation, with so many other continuing pressures and are extremely grateful to our communities for their support at this time.”
Alongside this, the Health Board will be implementing a new visitor policy from Friday March 20th.
Visitors are asked not to visit any of our sites if they have a high temperature, a new and persistent cough, have returned from overseas travel in the last 2 weeks, are vulnerable as a result of chronic illness or medication or are over 70 years of age.
If you do need to visit, please your hands thoroughly and use the hand sanitisers at the entrance to every ward.
The visiting policy is now:
- On wards, one person will be allowed to visit between 3-4pm and 7-8pm only. There will be no visiting outside these times;
- Visitors must be immediate family members or carers;
- No children under 18 will be allowed to visit;
- No visitors will be allowed to visit a patient with confirmed Coronavirus.
Exceptions will apply if:
- The patient is receiving end-of-life care (visiting to be agreed with clinical team);
- They are a partner or birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour (one person but for unlimited time based on agreement with clinical team);
- Paediatrics and neonatal areas (one person only for open visiting as per local agreement).
Aligned with this change, canteens on each site will become staff only, however coffee shops will stay open to all.
Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Care, Greg Dix, said: “As the Health Board prepares for COVID-19 and the expected increase in the number of confirmed cases there will be a significant surge in demand for our health services over the coming weeks.
“Given the current situation we are asking the public to help us by keeping the number of visitors to hospital to a minimum, and over a shorter period of time, which help us reduce the spread of the virus.
“We understand that this is a difficult time and that each patient has individual needs of which family care and involvement could be key to their recovery. We would ask that you discuss with the ward sister/charge nurse if your family member has individualised needs.
“We also understand the importance of patients retaining contact with their loved ones. To enable this, if you can’t be there in person, we do offer free WiFi throughout our hospitals. For those with access to smartphones or tablets, we would encourage virtual visiting as a great way of staying in touch with loved ones.
“We thank everyone for their support.”