Operations have been cancelled for the fourth day in a row at Withybush, but the situation has seen "slight improvement," the health board has said.

Inpatient operations have resumed at Aberystwyth’s Bronglais Hospital, Llanelli’s Prince Philip today (Thursday, January 9) but are still being postponed at Withybush and Carmarthen’s Glangwili

A statement by the Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) said: "The picture remains challenging however we have seen a slight improvement compared with the beginning of the week with two of our hospitals, Bronglais and Prince Philip, achieving a de-escalated status today.

"The actions we have taken have allowed us to resume some inpatient surgery.

"We are mindful that our services continue to operate under significant pressures and we continue to urge the public to choose well by visiting NHS symptom checker or visiting their community pharmacy for advice and treatment, particularly for seasonal ailments."

Responding to the cancellation of operations at HDUHB, Paul Summers, UNISON Cymru Wales head of health said pressure on the NHS was no longer just a winter issue.

“Wholesale cancellation of routine operations shows why it is essential we properly invest in hospitals and in safe staff numbers," Mr Summers said.

“Healthcare employees are working as hard as they possibly can, often going way beyond, to keep services running in trying circumstances.

"They are very worried about the pressures the NHS is under – this is no longer just a winter phenomenon.

“We have an emergency care and social care system that cannot adequately support a population which is living longer and has complex health needs.

Western Telegraph:

“Since 2010, severe spending cuts driven by Westminster have deprived Welsh councils of the funds they need to invest in social care. This money would help care for older people in their own homes as much as possible and allow for their prompt release from hospital after treatment.

“Boris Johnson promised more money for the NHS in the election and we need to see that in the health boards in Wales immediately so that routine operations don’t need to be cancelled and people get the treatment they require.

"The NHS in Wales cannot wait until March to see what the budget brings as it may be too late by then for many patients.”

The Western Telegraph asked the health board if they agreed the pressure on the NHS was no longer a winter phenomenon and what was being done to ensure this situation was prevented next year but has yet to receive a response.

In the Senedd yesterday (January 8), health minister Vaughn Gething promised that patients who had seen their operations cancelled would not be put to the back of the queue.

Responding to a question by Joyce Watson AM, he said: "I'm happy to confirm to Joyce Watson that people who have had their operations postponed by the health service will be informed of a prompt early date for that operation to be re-arranged.

"The operations haven't been cancelled and moved to the back of the queue.

"It's part of what we do when the health service does say that it needs to put off an operation; they will automatically be offered a new and a prompt date."