With warnings for severe weather in place across Wales Vaughan Gething, has urged people to stay safe and choose well during the cold weather.
“We are experiencing extreme weather conditions across Wales and people are urged to take care, keep warm and importantly check on older and vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives.
“While extensive preparation has gone into winter planning across health and social care services and the additional demand this period brings, a spell of adverse and cold weather requires additional actions to be put in place so we are in the best position to deal with any extra pressures. This will ensure the most critical services continue to operate.
“It is likely that there will be some disruption to local services across Wales. Local health boards, GP surgeries and local authorities will be providing information on local services affected and I urge people to check their websites and social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.
“People can help to make a difference by using our health services sensibly. Only call 999 and attend A&E for serious illness or a genuine emergency. Please follow Welsh Ambulance on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.
“If people are unsure, they can check our Choose Well or the NHS Direct Wales websites for advice. Choosing well means you and your family will get the best treatment and also allows busy NHS services to help the people who need them the most.
“Once again I would like to give my utmost thanks to NHS and social services staff for their commitment and support during this challenging period. I have already heard of staff going above and beyond to ensure continued service. It is because of their professionalism that patients will continue to receive the care they need during this severe weather.”