Joyce quizzes minister over Covid-19 infections at Llandovery and Amman Valley hospitals

Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething today confirmed that patients at Llandovery Community Hospital will be temporarily transferred to Amman Valley Hospital while the two hospitals deal with coronavirus outbreaks.

On Sunday (29 Nov) Hywel Dda University Health Board, which manages the Carmarthenshire hospitals, reported that a number of patients and staff – including nurses – at both sites had tested positive for Covid-19.

Health chiefs have not said how many people are affected – but confirmed a number of frontline staff are self-isolating, putting both workforces and services under “significant constraints”.

Labour Senedd Member Joyce Watson raised the urgent matter at the Welsh Parliament this afternoon.

Joyce Watson MS said:

“There have been a number of incidents recently that illustrate just how precarious this situation is, how quickly local health services can be overtaken by events, and why firm action to control the virus is vital.

“More than a dozen schools, nurseries and a college campus had to close in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion after localised spikes, and a number of patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at Llandovery and Amman valley hospitals.

“On that situation, I understand that quite a few staff at both sites have also tested positive and are self-isolating, which has led to significant constraints on that workforce. Can you provide an update on that, please, and help to reassure my constituents that the two sites are continuing to provide safe care to their patients?”

Mr Gething replied:

“Hywel Dda University Health Board has announced it will transfer patients who are currently being treated in Llandovery Community Hospital to the Amman Valley Hospital. They’ve approved the temporary measure after considering a number of options and working with stakeholders, local general practitioners, the community health council and elected officials.

“After that, there will be no in-patients in Llandovery. That will allow them to not just deep clean the site but also to then reopen it as a green site as well. So, they’re actively considering how the hospitals can provide the best positive care for people with COVID-19 and those people who do not have COVID-19.”

For now, the health board says: “all patients are stable and being cared for in isolation and according to COVID-19 and infection prevention guidelines, with appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing”.

Joyce Watson represents the Senedd region of Mid and West Wales.