Critical care ‘at capacity’ in Wales as NHS boss delivers bleak health service warning

Critical care in Wales’ hospitals is currently operating at full capacity, the chief executive of the NHS has told a press conference.

Andrew Goodall faced questions from journalists on Wednesday afternoon where he said there are currently 700 Covid-related patients in hospitals across the country – a 49% increase since last week.

It comes as Wales recored the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a day since the start of the pandemic.

In a stark warning, Dr Goodall said, “It doesn’t take much with the maths involved to see a system under pressure.

“It is quite possible that without action we could see the NHS in Wales under pressure within a month.”

He said, “I think that this is going to be the most challenging period that I have seen in my career and i think that will be duplicated in the care system.

Dr Goodall emphasised that most patients in critical care do not have coronavirus but the need for health boards to expand their capacity, will “unfortunately” also impact on planned surgery.

Many routine procedures were placed on hold at the height of the pandemic earlier this year.

On implementing travel restrictions to people living outside of Wales, Dr Goodall said, “We are clear in Wales that as part of our levels that we are putting in place local restrictions and people should not be traveling out of the area unless they have reasonable excuses.

“It is trying to limit the opportunities for the virus to develop in social settings. From my perspective I would welcome any actions that help us control any transmission here in Wales”.

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