The latest surge in Covid-19 combined with other hospital admissions and nurse shortages means Wales health services are heading for a “complete storm” this winter, a leading warned.
Said fellow director of nursing at the Royal College of Nursing in Wales Nicky Hughes Watch Hours of his concerns for workers amid increasing demand for health services in the country and said nurses “saw the same level” of Covid-19 as in the winter wave.
“That’s in a dangerous position around, are we really going to go to the third wave?”
The latest data showed 607 patients were in frequent and acute hospital beds for Covid-19 on Sept. 16-up from 448 a week earlier.
Other figures for Sept. 16 show the seven-day average of Covid-19 hospital visits was at 40 patients a day, while 44 Covid-19 patients were at the held beds.
The data also suggested that A&E services were busier in the summer than last, with almost 92,000 people attending services in Wales in July – up from 72,256 in July 2020.
On Tuesday, the Welsh Ambulance Service appealed for military support to get a “head start” in what is considered a tough coming winter.
The situation is similar to that in Northern Ireland, where the government is also asking for military assistance to support struggling and under-pressure health services.
Ms Hughes, who also works in a part-time GP service, said health services in Wales were at a “critical point” with Covid-19 on the rise.
“That’s in a dangerous position around, are we really going to go to the third wave?” as he said Watch Hours.
“There’s a lot of pressure right now on NHS demand and frankly, we don’t have more staff.
“We’re still working with the cohort of staff we’ve got, so we’re adding a lot more issues for the staff to struggle with.”
He added: “We’re going to have a full-blown storm in the whole system where we’re going to go during the flu season, we’re going to go through the winter pressures, we’re going to have a lot of pressures and with Covid mixed in I Think that we are in a harsh winter. ”
Patient demands affect the “entire system”, from GPs to hospitals, to social care and community settings, and there are challenges surrounding patient flow due to scarcity. on staff in all settings, according to Ms Hughes.
“I work at a GP with no hours on a weekend and you can see the whole system is really, really busy,” he said.
“Our staff just doesn’t have time to process their experiences”
Some care staff have once again started deploying to support the Covid-19 request, while others are “too tired to work” and forced to go sick, Ms Hughes added.
Meanwhile, the percentage of breastfeeding and midwifery staff without Covid -19 disease until 13 September was 0.9% – the highest it has ever been since early March 2021.
“We’ve heard that some nurses have left the profession [and] We have also heard of staff shortages, because some people go on sick leave, because they are contracted to Covid, or they are too tired to work, ”Ms Hughes said.
Fears about nurses leaving the profession amid Covid-19 pressure are at the forefront of the agenda for many nurse killers across the UK across the disease.
Now, more than 18 months into the pandemic, Ms Hughes said the RCN “has heard across Wales that health boards are dealing with some staff going out and others in relatively high numbers”.
“I think it’s a real risk right now,” he said, citing that many throughout the profession “have had enough”.
Nurses were “exhausted” and didn’t “have a chance to regain rest” from the first two waves, Ms Hughes said.
“Our staff has not yet had time to process their experiences,” he added.
“It’s not just about physical fatigue, it’s about mental exhaustion.”
Despite this, the nurses continue to get up, work and “do what they can in the dire situation we are in”, according to Ms Hughes.
In a renewed call by health boards and employers, the RCN leader urged organizations to make sure they have appropriate health and fitness standards in place to support their staff.
Concerns about mental health and well-being have been shattered since Covid-19 hit the UK and in April 2020 Watch Hours launched it Covid-19: Are you OK? lobbying campaign for support.
Ms Hughes emphasized that nurses need support for them to rest, refuel and rehydrate during busy shifts, and also be allowed to get “proper rest time to recover”.
“In the here and now, ensuring that the environment is safe and comfortable to work with, as well as ensuring that there are powerful systems in place when someone needs improved help,” he added.