A hospital in Wales is struggling to find beds for patients or cope with queuing ambulances due to a surge in coroanvirus patients.
The Grange University Hospital, in Cwmbran, has urged people to only attend A&E if they “absolutely need to” after services at the hospital have been put under a massive strain by the number of patients.
The news comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wales reached 100,000 on Saturday with 2,494 new cases confirmed by Public Health Wales.
The new £350m hospital, which opened last month, is the home of accident and emergency and intensive care for Gwent and is a 560-bed facility.
Writing on social media, a spokesman from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “The Grange University Hospital is under a significant amount of pressure this afternoon due to the very high number of Covid patients presenting. We are now struggling to identify beds for our patients and we also have a high number of ambulances waiting outside the hospital.
“This is a very serious situation and we urgently need your help. Please only attend or dial 999 if you absolutely need to. Please consider other alternative services if you become unwell. You can check your symptoms at 111.wales.nhs.uk or for advice call NHS 111.
“We really appreciate your understanding at this incredibly difficult time.”
From Monday, all non-urgent outpatient clinics will be postponed along with all non-urgent planned surgery in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area.
Cancer services and surgery as well as clinically urgent patients will still be seen and surgeries will continue.
The health board covers the south-east of Wales, including Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.
A statement released by the health board said: “From Monday 14th December we will be making changes to some of our services.
“This decision has not been made lightly, however, the increasing transmission of COVID-19 within our communities, together with the usual winter demand on our emergency care is having a significant impact on our ability to provide normal services.”
They will also be working to ensure that medically fit patients who no longer need hospital care are discharged rapidly following a risk assessment.
Radiology (x-ray) and endoscopy services will continue unchanged and diagnostic and treatment services for heart conditions will not be postponed.
Child and adult mental health services will not be affected by the changes and the Covid-19 vaccination programme will also be prioritised.