North Wales health leaders urge the public to continue to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives

The Chair and Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have thanked people across North Wales for the crucial role they are playing in helping the NHS cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Chair, Mark Polin and Interim Chief Executive, Simon Dean have praised the public response to the Welsh Government’s stay at home guidance, which is helping to successfully contain the spread of the virus, save lives, and ensure that the region’s hospitals aren’t overwhelmed.

But as Wales prepares to enter its eighth week of lockdown, and with a Bank Holiday weekend approaching, they have warned that it’s too early for people to let their guard down.

Mark Polin said: “On behalf of all of our staff who are working so hard to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak I want to thank people in communities across the region who are following the stay at home guidance.

“Your actions and sacrifices, together with the measures we have already taken to increase bed capacity in our existing hospitals, have ensured that although busy, our hospitals have so far been able to cope with the additional demands placed on us by COVID-19.

“Your support also means that our three Rainbow Hospitals, which have been rapidly established to help us meet a huge surge in demand, may not be needed for some weeks.

“We know that many people will be finding the lockdown difficult, but it’s vitally important that we all continue to follow the government guidance.

“Every death from COVID-19 is a tragedy which will have a profound effect on families and communities across North Wales. Sadly, we know that many families across the region are currently grieving for loved ones who have lost their lives to the disease.

“We are all in this together, and by continuing to stay at home, we can ensure that as few people as possible experience this heartache.”

Interim Chief Executive Simon Dean has also paid tribute to the work of NHS staff and colleagues from partner organisations, who have been supporting patients and families throughout this difficult time.

Since the pandemic was declared in the second week of March, 329 patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 have been discharged home from hospitals in North Wales.

Simon Dean said: “I’m incredibly proud of the efforts of our staff and staff in partner organisations, who have shown huge resilience and resourcefulness over recent weeks. There have been so many inspiring examples of teams going above and beyond the call of duty for their patients.

“Whilst we have become used to the adjustments to the way we work in order to meet the challenge of COVID-19, we are also now looking at how we will manage the virus in the future. We are actively reviewing all the data and intelligence available to us so that we can plan for the next phase of our response.

“Our message to the public is to please continue to stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.”