HYWEL Dda has released a statement in response to the confusion caused after it announced Withybush Hospital would close to visitors due to Covid cases, and then, in less than 24 hours, announced it was reopening.

In a rather peculiar set of events Withybush Hospital announced it was closing its doors on October 11 saying they had, "closed to visitors due to increased cases of Covid-19 in hospital and the community."

Then, within 24 hours, the hospital announced visitors were welcome back: "We are pleased to confirm that visiting to Withybush Hospital will restart."

Confusion reigned and visitors and patients alike wondered if they were coming or going as they tried to work out what was happening.

The Western Telegraph has now received a statement shedding some light on the situation with Hywel Dda explaining what procedures the hospital went through to decide to partially shut its doors.

“The safety of patients and staff is of paramount importance," began Mandy Rayani, director of nursing, quality and patient safety at Hywel Dda University Health Board.

"We are still in a pandemic and the situation is closely monitored on a daily basis to ensure the continued protection of those who work in and use our services.

“On this particular occasion, precautionary action was taken to ensure protective measures were appropriately in place, and we are pleased that the results from proactive screening of patients for Covid across Withybush Hospital enabled us to update our visiting restrictions.

“We thank everyone for your understanding at this time while we work to stop the spread of this virus."

Ms Rayani went on to confirm that the hospital was now open to visitors apart from some wards and that patients families had been notified.

“Visiting to Withybush Hospital will restart today, Wednesday, October 13, however, visiting for Wards 10 and 12 will remain restricted at this time, and only permitted in extenuating circumstances, such as end of life and critical visits.

"The next of kin of patients on these wards have been contacted directly.

“To ensure the safety of patients and staff, we continue to encourage anyone visiting any of our hospitals for an appointment or to see a loved one, to carry out a lateral flow device (LFD) test at home prior to travelling to the hospital.

“When visiting our hospitals please wear a face mask. This will be replaced by a surgical face mask at reception or ward. Please maintain social distancing and wash your hands as often as possible using soap and water and hand sanitiser.”

Lateral flow self-test kits can be obtained by:

•ordering online for home delivery here.

•collecting locally from most community pharmacies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire: check here for participating pharmacies near you.

Were you affected by the sudden closure? Let us know on the Western Telegraph Facebook page or email us at wtnews@gwent-wales.co.uk.