Royal Glamorgan Hospital suspends some services after reporting 82 cases of Covid-19

Temporary restrictions to services are to be put in place at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant after 82 cases of coronavirus were identified there.

The restrictions, which come into force at 2pm on Wednesday, include suspending planned surgery with the exception of a small number of urgent cancer cases that have been clinically prioritised.

There are currently 82 case of coronavirus identified at the hospital, which is in Rhondda Cynon Taf – one of the areas of Wales subjected to local lockdown restrictions.

Last week, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said 34 cases of Covid-19 had been recorded across two wards at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, linked mainly to transmission within the site.

In a statement on Wednesday, the health board said that despite teams working to manage the outbreak, “additional cases linked to transmission within the hospital” had been confirmed in recent days.

Paul Mears, chief executive of the health board, said: “We recognise the concern that these temporary changes will cause and would like to assure our patients and communities that managing this outbreak is our key priority.

“Our teams continue to work to take all necessary measures to achieve this and we have taken a range of swift and decisive actions to try to manage this outbreak, which include immediate closure of affected wards, risk assessments of affected and at-risk wards, reviews of infection prevention and control measures and their implementation, increased testing of healthcare staff and testing of all hospital admissions.

“These decisions have not been taken lightly, and we understand that they will impact our patients, their families, our staff and partner organisations.

“However, the safety of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance and we believe this is the right course of action, based on the professional advice given to us.”

Adult patients requiring an emergency admission following assessment will either be taken to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, or the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

The emergency department at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital will remain open for walk-in patients and those who can be treated within the department.

Welsh Ambulance Service patients, excluding children, will be diverted to the other hospitals.

The self-contained paediatric wards at the hospital will remain open, while the Tirion birthing centre is due to reopen on October 5.

A health board spokesman said it is working closely with Public Health Wales to increase the capacity and speed of testing and results for both patients and staff.

“These changes will be reviewed on a daily basis and decisions to restart emergency admissions at Royal Glamorgan Hospital will be made in conjunction with Public Health Wales,” he said.

Andrew RT Davies, shadow health minister for the Welsh Conservatives, called on the Welsh Government to explore using field hospitals and other health facilities to alleviate pressure on the Royal Glamorgan.

He added: “This is very concerning, particularly as many of the additional cases are linked to transmission within the hospital, and so questions over processes and protocols must be asked.”

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