Health services in Powys are under "significant pressure" that is "increasing daily", officials have warned.

In a plea to the local population, Powys Teaching Health Board has asked that those that need medical care or advice for themselves or a loved one, use the right level of service for their needs.

It comes as residents flock to GP surgeries and pharmacies which have themselves been left short-staffed by Covid absences.


Hayley Thomas, director of primary care, community & mental health services for Powys Teaching Health Board, said: “High levels of attendance at GP surgeries and pharmacies throughout the county, combined with challenges to our professional and medical staff due to sickness absence caused by Covid-19, is putting health board and ambulance services under huge pressure.

“We are asking our local communities for their help. We remain very busy as we work to meet the safe health care needs of those with and without Covid-19.

“Our primary care teams are helping patients according to their clinical priority, but this does mean that many patients will experience longer waits than we would like. If you need medical help, please think carefully about the services you choose.”

If you are unwell and unsure what to do, you can visit the online symptom checker or call NHS 111 if you are unsure what help you need.

If you have a minor injury please visit a Minor Injury Unit. They can treat adults and children over 12-months of age, with injuries such as:

  • Minor wounds
  • Minor burns or scalds
  • Insect bites
  • Minor limb, head, or face injuries
  • Foreign bodies in the nose or ear

Minor Injuries Units are located at Breconshire War Memorial Hospital in Brecon; Ystradgynlais Community Hospital; Llandrindod Wells Memorial Hospital; and Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welshpool.

All Minor Injury Units in Powys currently operate on a “phone first” basis. All patients are asked to phone 01874 615800 before attending.

Only attend an Emergency Department if you have a life-threatening illness or serious injury, such as:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe bleeding
  • Persistent, severe chest pain
  • Serious trauma injuries (e.g. from a car crash)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Suspected stroke
  • Acute confused state and fits that are not stopping

Depending on where you live in the county, your nearest 24-hour Emergency Departments are located at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil; Morriston Hospital in Swansea; The Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran; Hereford County Hospital; and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

The My A&E Live website gives live information on how busy Accident and Emergency and Minor Injuries Units are at any one time.

While also under pressure, many community pharmacies can also provide walk-in, common ailment or triage and treat services without an appointment. You can find your nearest pharmacy using the NHS 111 Wales ‘Services Near You’ pages.