AN intensive care consultant from Sully has predicted that January could be the most difficult month so far for the NHS since it was established in 1948.

Dr Matt Morgan, who works at the University Hospital of Wales, told BBC Wales he believes January “is going to be and already is such a hard month”.

He said: “We knew it was going to be a marathon. What we didn’t know was that January was going to be the hardest month so far.

“It might possibly be the hardest month in the 73 years since Aneurin Bevan started the NHS.

“That’s not just the ICU, it’s important to know about the whole hospital system."

The news comes after the Vale recorded 658 cases in the week after Christmas – down on 696 the previous week and 895 the week before.

In that week Rhoose recorded the highest number of cases in the Vale with 100. Barry Island recorded 62 new cases, Lower Penarth and Sully recorded 50, and Upper Penarth recorded 48.

At the government press briefing on Wednesday afternoon Dr Frank Atherton and NHS Wales Chief Executive Dr Andrew Goodall said there was a “material risk” of the NHS being overwhelmed over the next 21 days.

They said 16 Welsh hospitals were now reporting levels three or four – the two highest levels of pressure. Six of those hospitals are now at the highest level (four).

Dr Morgan added: “The information or disinformation we’ve heard about empty corridors in hospitals is simply not true. They were empty because the staff haven’t got time to have a break.

“But there is hope. We will get through this. We’ve got a vaccine which is safe and which works.

“You are now more likely to survive with Covid than ever before.

“Spring will come. The daffodils will be there again at some point. But to get through this we need to get through it together as a society.”

On Thursday the Vale recorded 78 new cases, and Cardiff recorded 140.