What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the impact of respiratory infections including COVID-19 and flu on people with lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis as we head into the winter months?
It is well recognised that circulating respiratory viruses such as influenza and COVID-19 have the potential to exacerbate chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis. Unscheduled care services routinely experience an increase in such cases during winter.
The Welsh Government has issued winter planning guidance that includes a focus on chronic condition management of respiratory disease. In addition, at risk groups such as people with chronic respiratory disease, are eligible for flu and COVID-19 vaccination to reduce their risk of exacerbation throughout the winter period.
We recognise the significant impact winter has on respiratory disease here in Wales and on the on-going care for those who are most frail. This is why through building community capacity this winter we have specifically invested in the delivery of our community nursing services to be more robust especially over the out of hours period such as at a weekend.