THE ANEURIN Bevan Health Board have asked people in Gwent to think very carefully before they attend the Emergency Department at The Grange University Hospital.

The statement comes after reports of long waits both in the emergency department and in ambulances outside the hospital.

David Hamer took the above picture Grange hospital in the early hours of last Monday (February 28).

"It was about 1:30am," he said.

"Every ambulance bay filled and waiting with patients."

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABHB) said: “The Health Board, along with the rest of NHS Wales and other areas of the UK, continues to experience unprecedented demand for its services.

“With extremely high levels of very poorly people in need of emergency care and the ongoing pressures of the Winter season, this has, unfortunately, meant that patients are waiting longer to receive care in the Emergency Department than we would want."

There are still more than 250 patients in ABHB hospitals who are either Covid-positive or are recovering from Covid.

“Though national Covid-19 restrictions may have eased, it is still imperative that we maintain strict Covid-19 infection control measures within our hospitals to protect vulnerable patients," a health board spokesperson said.

"This also impacts on how efficiently we are able to operate.

“We continue to work with our colleagues in the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust to ensure the timely transfer of patients into our care, and to release ambulance crews as efficiently as possible to enable them to respond to emergency calls in our communities.

“We are also working very closely with our colleagues in Social Care to support patients who are currently in our care, but fit for discharge, to allow them to be sent home safely with additional support in place.

“We would ask the local population to think very carefully before they attend the Emergency Department at The Grange University Hospital – this facility is designed to treat the most seriously unwell and injured patients for conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and very severe injuries."

Patients who are not seriously ill have been urged to consider the other options available to them and to contact NHS 111 Wales if they are unsure where to go.

“We would like to thank our staff for their hard work in such testing circumstances and our patients for their understanding at this time," the health board spokesperson said.