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12 hour A&E service would be ‘end game’ for Withybush Hospital

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Protest: Cardiff earlier this year

Protest: Cardiff earlier this year

A LEAKED document has revealed 24 hour A&E services are to be cut at Withybush General Hospital and replaced with a 12-hour service, The Pembrokeshire Herald understands.

A report prepared by Dr Iain Roberston-Steele has been revealed on-line on the SWAT website. The letter states: “It is no longer possible to sustain a traditional 24/7 A&E service at Withybush General Hospital based on middle grade locums and locum consultants”.

Health Board chairman Bernardine Rees was asked by councillors at Full Council recently if the A&E would remain a 24 hour services seven days a week, but she did not confirm that it would.

The shocking document also reveals that since the downgrade in paediatric services overnight there has been increased burden on the out of hours service and that too is branded as “short staffed and at risk”.

The leaked letter says that staffing issues led to the latest crisis in the service, and that a solution needs to be found.Other services that Withybush should not provide services for patients where further or onward care is required will also include ENT, ophthalmology, urology, palliative care, oncology, paediatrics, gynaecology and other specialist services, according to the document.

“Limiting provision at WGH to those services at WGH which are fully staffed and skilled,” it adds.

SWAT chairman Dr Chris Overton told The Herald that the news was  the “end game” for Withybush Hospital. He added: “As predicted for many many years, there will be nothing much will be left at the hospital”

The hospital action group has previously raised concerns that the knock on effect of services removal will result in changes having to be made at Withybush A&E.

Stephen Crabb MP told The Herald: “This leaked document appears to confirm our worst fears about what Hywel Dda and Mark Drakeford have got planned for Withybush. A dark cloud is hanging over the future of our hospital.”

“The removal of a 24 hour A&E service from Withybush is just unacceptable. The Welsh Health Minister should stop hiding away in Cardiff and come down to Pembrokeshire to either denounce these reckless plans or explain why he thinks they make our community safer. People in Pembrokeshire deserve more than behind-the-scenes plotting.”

“Today the UK Government is giving Welsh Ministers an extra £70 million as a result of the increase in English NHS spending. I have asked that the Welsh Government confirm that it will use this money solely for Welsh health services. After all the recent cuts to services, Pembrokeshire should be first in the queue for this spending.”

Party of Wales Mid and West Assembly Member Simon Thomas said: “This is another broken promise on the Welsh NHS by Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay. I will demand answers from the Welsh Government in the Senedd at the first opportunity to do so on this issue. The people of Pembrokeshire deserve better A&E services.”

“This development about emergency services at Withybush Hospital is very concerning indeed. Welsh Ministers rejected my concerns that losing 24/7 paediatrics would undermine the long term viability of A&E.

“I suspected this but I am amazed it has come so soon. The people of west Wales have been misled by Labour. A Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would recruit 1,000 extra doctors. We would train new doctors to keep services local.”

South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said: “I have not seen first-hand the report that SWAT refers to but if it is accurate, then everything we feared is coming true.  This is death by a thousand cuts for Withybush.  Hywel Dda Health Board has struggled with these staffing issues for years and has yet to solve the problem.  If they are going to use “staff shortages” as an excuse to close any department where they can’t recruit then this will become self fulfilling. We already know that one reason for the GP shortages in the county is the uncertainty over the future of the hospital. Mark Drakeford and the Welsh Government in Cardiff needs to get a grip of this situation and bring this uncertainty to an end.”

Commenting on reports that 24 hour Accident and Emergency, and other specialist services are to be removed from Withybush Hospital, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM said: “This news is obviously a huge blow to communities across Pembrokeshire, especially all the campaigners that have worked tirelessly to keep their local services open. A quick response is vital for people suffering from trauma and accidents, and cutting 24 hour A&E cover could well put lives at risk.

“The fact that these services are seen as unsustainable at all shows that there is a major recruitment crisis in our NHS that the Welsh Labour Government seems determined to ignore. I have been repeatedly calling for a cross-party commission with doctor, nurse and patient representatives to sort out the major problems and plan for the future of our NHS. Today’s news shows that this commission can’t come soon enough.”

William Powell, the Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for Mid and West Wales, added: “Having supported local campaigners in their efforts to protect these services since 2006, this is obviously a huge disappointment. Removing specialist services and a full A&E from Withybush will leave it as nothing more than a glorified cottage hospital, with no equivalent services for miles around.

“With a health board intent on centralising services and a Welsh Labour Government content with them doing so, the people of Pembrokeshire deserve better.”

Spekaing for the Health Board, Medical Director Dr Sue Fish said: “I would like to reassure staff and members of the public that the Emergency and Urgent Care Centre at Withybush General Hospital remains open 24-hours a day and the University Health Board continues to be committed to the long term provision of this service. Senior clinicians continue to meet, and indeed clinicians and managers from across Hywel Dda are meeting today, to discuss how we continue to maintain safe, high quality services with ongoing and significant recruitment challenges. These challenges are faced by many NHS organisations across the UK and are a particular challenge at Withybush EUCC currently. The document referred to is the viewpoint of a single consultant at one point in time and represents no decision by the University Health Board. Changes to paediatric services at the hospital have not resulted in this position, which is a reflection of the ongoing recruitment challenges discussed.

Associate Medical Director for Quality and Safety Iain Robertson Steel added: “I would like to make it clear that this was a private and confidential paper that presents only one contribution from amongst a number being discussed and I am deeply distressed that this has been leaked without the full context.”

letterA letterB letterC letterD

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Steve

    December 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    thanks guys for protesting so much they are cutting down on so much including A+E department now us doormen have got to go to Carmarthen.

  2. Francesca Bosenius

    December 2, 2014 at 6:44 am

    After this news broke,it was reported on the late Welsh HTV news, that a plan was now in place to avoid all this happening.That’s clever of them.All into the space of a few hours when they have been struggling with this for months! Right then. Any chance that you can ask them what the plan is. and share it with the rest of us?

  3. Edward

    December 12, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Stabbed in the back by the Welsh Assembly again. No funding and another move towards closure. The Labour party must hate Pembrokeshire.

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Police and Fire Service investigating blaze at former bakery

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A FIRE broke out at the old bakery on Snowdrop Lane in Haverfordwest in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Apr 8).

Fire fighters attended from nearby towns to help tackle the fire, with up to seven appliances including an aerial platform at the scene. The fire was most extinguished by around 7am, with investigators arriving to try and establish the cause of the blaze in the unoccupied building.

A spokesperson for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 04:03am on, Wednesday (Apr 8) crews from Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Narberth, Pembroke Dock and Fishguard attended a fire at a property in Snowdrop Lane, Haverfordwest.

“The single storey property, measuring approximately 30 meters x 15 meters and used as a place of storage for white goods, was well alight and totally destroyed by the fire.
“Five main jets, an Aerial Rescue Platform water tower, a drone and hydraulic equipment were utilised by the Fire Service to extinguish the fire.
“The Police were also in attendance.
“The Fire Service received the stop message at 07:58am.
“A crew remain at the scene to monitor the incident.
“The incident is under Police and Fire investigation.
A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said:” Following a request by the Fire Service for an assessment of the building by a Pembrokeshire County Council Structural Engineer, a decision has been taken that the building must be demolished.

“Arrangements are being made for the demolition as soon as possible.

“The road closure will remain in place until further notice.

Posting on the Honey Harfat Facebook group, local Dylan Morgan posted sentiments which are shared by many. He wrote: “Sad news that the building which was formerly Snowdrop Bakery/Pridmore’s burnt to the ground overnight. It was in a state of disrepair which was heart-breaking to see. In the grand scheme of things a few decades is but the blink of an eye and because of this, Snowdrop was like a Supernova, a bright star with a life not as long as others.

“It was a part of everyone’s life in Haverfordwest. In the 70’s and 80’s, a bright, busy and bustling place, a community hub if you will that brought a lot of joy. I worked there albeit for a short time. It was pure graft, but this was the nature of things then.

“I encountered some amazing characters there, Mr. and Mrs. P, Rob Mills, Len Cole, Richard and Steven Cole, Nigel Evans, Rob Jones, Billy Doonan, the list is endless.

“In later years it could be said that things weren’t the same after Leslie retired. The business closed under tragic circumstances and we feel for those involved and affected still. For a time though it was an incredible place that touched all our lives. All of us.

“Not just a bakery, not just a shop but also a place where people lived their lives and created memories. Socially, historically and culturally as important as anything in Haverfordwest regardless of age or architecture. It involved people. That is the benchmark of greatness.”

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Pembrokeshire County Council: Leader’s coronavirus update, Tuesday, 7th April

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Pembrokeshire County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson,
has provided a further coronavirus update for Tuesday, 7th April, as
follows:

‘As I said yesterday, with Easter Bank Holiday approaching we have
one message for everyone – stay home and save lives. You will see a
reinforcement of this message over the coming days.

‘I also mentioned yesterday that we are trying to improve on getting
key messages out to as many people as possible on different
platforms.

‘From Thursday you should also be starting to hear messages on
local radio which we hope further extends our ability to reach as many
people as possible.

‘A reminder that Public Health Wales are updating and adding to their
resources regularly. Please find all assets here: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-resources/

‘A press release issued since my update yesterday is:
 Local produce Markets Adapt To Pandemic: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/local-produce-markets-
adapt-to-pandemic

‘Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom
‘Stay Safe. Thank you.’

Useful links:
 www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
 www.sir-benfro.gov.uk/coronafeirws
 https://phw.nhs.wales/
 Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru – Coronafeirws Newydd (COVID-19)
– Cyngor hunan-ynysu

 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-
19-list-of-guidance

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Boris Johnston being treated in intensive care after ‘condition worsens’

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BORIS JOHNSON is being treated in intensive care after his condition worsened yesterday, with Downing Street warning that the Prime Minister may need to be put on a ventilator as he fights off coronavirus infection.

He was transferred to an intensive care unit at around 7pm yesterday on the advice of doctors after being taken to St Thomas’ Hospital for treatment just under 24 hours earlier.

Mr Johnson was conscious on admission to intensive care, Downing Street said, and asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to stand in for him.
“Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” a spokesman said in a statement issued at 8.10pm.
“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
“The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.
“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

The news sparked a flood of well-wishes on social media, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeting: “My thoughts are with the PM and his family – sending him every good wish.”

The news followed mounting questions over whether Mr Johnson was well enough to continue leading the government, with Number 10 insisting he remained in overall charge of efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The Prime Minister posted on twitter at 1.20pm that he was in “good spirits and keeping in touch with my team”. But in a sign of the seriousness of his condition, Mr Raab – who chaired the daily coronavirus ‘war cabinet’ yesterday morning – admitted he had not spoken to Mr Johnson since Saturday.

It comes as the latest official figures showed 5,373 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, as of 5pm on Sunday – an increase of 439 on the previous day.

Foreign Office Minister James Duddrige appeared to call on the Prime Minister to stand back from his duties to recover, posting on twitter: “Take care boss. Get well.
Come back fighting. But for now rest, look after yourself and let the others do the heavy lifting.”

And Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who herself recovered from coronavirus, said many of its sufferers would be “felled” by symptoms of fatigue and fever.

At yesterday’s daily press briefing on coronavirus, Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty declined to say, under repeated questioning from journalists, whether it was appropriate for the Prime Minister to lead the government from a hospital bed.

Prof Whitty insisted he was “absolutely not going to discuss any individual patient,” and said he was not Mr Johnson’s physician.
But he later added that some patients of his were able to “handle massively complicated things from their hospital beds”.

The Prime Minister first experienced symptoms and was confirmed as having coronavirus last Thursday, with his cough and high temperature continuing for 11 days.
Having previously been described as “mild”, Downing Street said yesterday that his cough and fever were “persistent”.

Mr Raab said the Prime Minister had “a comfortable night” at St Thomas’, across the River Thames from parliament, where he was taken at around 8pm on Sunday.

The decision was made on the advice of Mr Johnson’s private doctors and was a precautionary measure to undergo tests, and not an emergency admission.

But his official spokesman did not deny reports that the Prime Minister had been given oxygen, and would not comment on whether he was being treated for pneumonia.

Coronavirus patients not being allowed visitors in hospital, but Downing Street said a ministerial red box with official papers had been delivered to the Prime Minister’s hospital bed – despite Downing Street saying Mr Johnson would “follow the advice the same as anybody else”.

A report in Russian media that the Prime Minister had already been put on a ventilator was dismissed as “fake news”.

Downing Street insisted it had been “transparent throughout” about Mr Johnson’s health, and would communicate any change in the Prime Minister’s condition to the public.

In his twitter post yesterday afternoon, Mr Johnson wrote: “I’d like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain.
“Stay safe everyone, and please remember to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”

At the daily coronavirus press conference in Downing Street, Mr Raab said ministers and officials were continuing to work “full throttle” to ensure the Prime Minister’s instructions were implemented.
“He’s in charge, but he’ll continue to take doctors’ advice on what to do next,” he said.

Mr Johnson had been expected to leave isolation on Friday, with the pound trading lower on currency markets over fears about the impact that his extended absence from Number 10 could have on the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

His fiancée Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, revealed on Saturday that she was recovering after also contracting the virus.

Earlier, former Prime Minister Tony Blair said it would be “hellish” for Mr Johnson to be in hospital at the peak of the crisis.
Asked by the BBC’s Today programme whether the Prime Minister should give up control of the government to focus on his recovery, Mr Blair said: “I’m not going to second guess them on that.

He knows the state of his own condition and he will be judging it carefully himself, I’m sure.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Cabinet “hope and expect [the Prime Minister can get back to Number 10 very soon”.

Mr Jenrick told Today: “He has worked phenomenally hard, as have many people across the country. This has been a uniquely intense period and I know for him personally it will be very frustrating that he has had to go to hospital to have these tests.

“He will want to be back in No 10 leading from the front, which is his way. But he remains in charge of the government; he will be updated regularly in hospital, as he has been as he’s self-isolating.”

Meanwhile, the Labour MP for Rochdale Tony Lloyd, who served as shadow Scottish Secretary during the final months of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, has been admitted to
Manchester Royal Infirmary for treatment of coronavirus.In a statement issued by the Labour Party, Mr Lloyd’s family said he was “stable and responding to the treatment and dedicated care that he is receiving from the brilliant doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff.”

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