A TOP doctor for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said pressures are mounting on Gwent's critical care services ahead of a "very long winter".

David Hepburn said the situation at Nevill Hall Hospital's intensive care department is "looking very much like it did in the early part of this year, during the first wave" of coronavirus.

The intensive care consultant said "once again, we're very busy" at the Abergavenny hospital.

"We're full, apart from one bed, of patients with Covid-19," Dr Hepburn said, appearing in the video message in his scrubs and a protective face mask and shield.

Efforts to support coronavirus patients are being made more difficult because hospitals are full of patients with other medical problems, Dr Hepburn added.


The doctor's message comes nearly one week into the Wales-wide 'fire break' lockdown, which has seen renewed restrictions and closures of non-essential businesses.

The Welsh Government hopes the 'fire break' will stave off the worst of a resurgent public health crisis and give the health service and authorities valuable time to respond.


But the desired effects will not be noticeable immediately when the restrictions are lifted on November 9, ministers have warned.

Dr Hepburn said he approved of the "very sensible" measures "to try and stop the spread of this awful virus".

He added: "With everybody pulling together, I'm hoping we can do that -- but we're in for a very long winter, I think."

Dr Hepburn ended his video message by saying: "Thank you all so much for helping obey the lockdown and keeping distance between each other.

"Keep washing your hands and keep wearing masks."