A SHORTAGE of GPs means Hywel Dda health authority is struggling to cover the Out of Hours service in Carmarthenshire and south Ceredigion this weekend.

Efforts are continuing until the last possible moment to fill the shifts affected, but as of Friday afternoon (March 15) there are still gaps in the rota affecting service provision between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Patients who require a GP may have to travel to alternative centres during this period as, at present, health officials are unable to keep the following bases open:

• Llandysul - closed from 3pm on Saturday until 8am on Sunday

• Glangwili - closed from 12pm Saturday until 8am on Sunday, and 7pm-11pm on Sunday

• Prince Phillip Hospital, Llanelli - closed overnight from 11pm on Saturday and 7pm-11pm Sunday

Patients who need GP assistance should call 111 as normal and will be directed to the right service, for example a GP, nurse, pharmacist or Minor Injury Unit; they can also provide health information on a wide range of conditions for self-care if appropriate.

Joe Teape, deputy chief executive and director of operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I’d like to apologise again for any concern or inconvenience caused to residents.

“Unfortunately we are continuing to experience GP shortages from time to time and we appreciate the efforts our staff, GPs and partners from across the Hywel Dda area are making to ensure we can provide safe services for our patients.”