Hywel Dda University Health Board is making all efforts to secure GPs to cover Out of Hours rotas in Carmarthenshire in the run up to this weekend.

The health board is finding it increasingly difficult to staff rotas, and last weekend this resulted in the temporary closure of the service at Prince Philip Hospital (PPH), Llanelli.

The service has resumed during evenings and overnight in-week so far, but despite efforts there are unfilled rotas for Thursday and Friday evening at PPH. The Friday evening rota at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen, is also currently unfilled. All efforts to fill these will be ongoing until the last possible moment and updates will be provided to the media and on the health board’s website and social media sites.

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations Joe Teape said: “I would like to apologise for any concern or inconvenience caused due to ongoing staffing issues in the Out of Hours GP service. This is currently a familiar trend among other health boards across the country. We know that all of our staff and GPs are working really hard to provide safe services for our patients and we appreciate this. We are working together across the whole health board area and across different services to provide a safety net for our patients.”

In the instance of rotas not being filled, other health care services such as minor injury units, 111 and community pharmacy, continue to be available.

If after a telephone based GP assessment has been completed and someone needs to see a GP face to face they may be asked to travel to a neighbouring county within the Hywel Dda region to see the nearest available GP (the nearest available GP which may be Glangwili or Prince Philip Hospital if one of the rotas can be filled, or Withybush General Hospital, Haverfordwest, or their nearest alternative GP as instructed by 111 operators).

The health board continues to work closely with GP partners across the area to try and resolve this situation. Currently none of the rotas at our other hospitals have any additional capacity to offer. We will work closely with partners such as the Welsh Ambulance Service and the 111 service, who will be able to advise any patients who call according to their clinical needs.