COMPUTER problems have continued to plague Gwent's health board for a third successive day, causing chaos for the region's accident and emergency care. 

Issues with IT services have hit several NHS Wales organisations, including at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which on Tuesday was forced to urge people to not attend the Grange hospital unless they had a life-threatening condition.

The health board said the network problems were "out of our control" and extended beyond Gwent - something confirmed today, Wednesday, by the Welsh NHS' digital department, who said most issues had since been fixed.

Pressure at the Grange's A&E department "seems to have improved", but the health board said its hospitals "remain very busy due to backlogs caused by the disruption to IT systems".

The advice to patients in Gwent is still to "think carefully about the NHS services they choose – and in particular to avoid visiting the emergency department at the Grange University Hospital unless absolutely necessary".

One visitor to the Grange photographed a long line of ambulances outside the department on Tuesday, the day the health board first made its urgent appeal.

The IT problems have caused "network connectivity" issues and "disrupted the operation of our clinical and operational systems", Gwent's health board said.

"We would like to reassure people that although there have been some delays, the safety of our patients has not been compromised by the IT issues and our amazing NHS staff have gone above and beyond to keep services running as smoothly as possible," a spokesperson added.

"We would like to thank our staff and patients for their patience and support."

Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) confirmed the disruption in Gwent was linked to wider IT problems.

A spokesperson said: "On Tuesday, DHCW was made aware of network connectivity issues affecting access to some IT services used by a number of NHS Wales organisations, mainly in South Wales.

"The network is delivered by a third party provider and DHCW, in its role as national incident co-ordinator, has been working closely with the provider and the affected organisations to resolve the problem, with most services now back online.

"We will continue to work with organisations to monitor the situation and with the provider to verify the stability of the network services."