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NHS Wales chief executive apologises for cancellations

From BBC - January 4, 2018

The chief executive of NHS in Wales has apologised to patients whose routine operations have been postponed due to "exceptional levels of demand" on the service in recent days.

Dr Andrew Goodall said December was the highest month on record for life-threatening "red calls".

He added cancellations came as a result of trying to balance those pressures.

On Wednesday, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Wales said emergency departments felt "like a battlefield."

Dr Goodall told BBC Radio Wales this winter has been a "very challenging period for the NHS in Wales, there are significant pressures that the NHS is responding to".

"The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust has reported that it's had its highest month of red calls, which are its life-threatening calls, in December," he said.

He added that New Years Eve saw a rise of almost 50% in the number of red calls they had to respond to.

"This morning as I am speaking to you I know that there are 400 patients in our A&E departments across Wales, and around 50% of them are over 85," Dr Goodall said.

"The NHS is responding to a very significant degree of pressure, and we have had winter plans in place to support this.

"It's also very clear that staff have been fantastic on the ground in responding, they are very committed to the NHS and their response to patient care."

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