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Hospital “downgrade” fear

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WithybushTHE WALES Deanery could withdraw training for junior doctors at Withybush Hospital as an indirect result of the transfer of services offered by the Special Care Baby Unit to West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen.

The reduction in births at Withybush would mean not enough births would be taking place at the Hospital for training in essential skills to take place. The additional cessation of overnight paediatric care at the hospital could lead to further service cuts, as insufficient junior doctors would be available to provide medical cover.

Speaking to The Pembrokeshire Herald, local campaigner David Williams of Pembrokeshire Health Concern, said: “We have been fighting these cuts for years. One of the problems we have had is getting the public to believe that the effect of cutting one service would have such a serious knock-on effect.

“Now, it seems, what we have been saying all along would happen is likely to happen.

“We understand, from our own confidential sources among Health Board employees, that it is likely that SCBU, maternity, paediatric care will all transfer to Carmarthen and that Ward 12 will close.

“The Health Board has said it had no intentions to close these services, but must have known what the effect of cutting key services away from Withybush would be. It’s not as if my colleague and friend Peter Milewski (a consultant surgeon) has not pointed this out to the Board on any number of times.”

Mr Williams went on to say: “Childbirth is a difficult and stressful experience, even at the best of times. But imagine having to be whisked up to Carmarthen on poor rural roads. It’s not as if the Wales Ambulance Service’s performance can fill you with confidence.

“Look at a practical issue: if you have young children, how are you going to be able to find a family member or friend to take care of them if there is a complication of if you go into labour unexpectedly? Can you imagine what it would be like having to take a couple of kids up to Carmarthen and hope that someone will be available to pick them up, take them home, and look after them in an emergency?

“Pembrokeshire needs to have paediatric services and paediatric consultants close at hand. I speak from personal experience. When my grandson was poorly, his GP suggested it was a minor illness. Dr Gustav VasFalcao saw him in short order at Withybush and my grandson was immediately taken to Cardiff to be treated for leukaemia. I was able to get him seen quickly at Withybush, but would that be possible with the nearest consultant forty miles away in Carmarthen?

“The lives of mothers and children will be put at risk by the loss of services at Withybush. We have been saying this all along but the Local Health Board has not listened.”

The Pembrokeshire Herald contacted Hywel Dda LHB for a statement regarding Withybush Hospital.

A spokesperson said: “We are having discussions with our consultants, nurses and midwives that relate to service models for the future that are sustainable and meet Royal College and Deanery standards.

“We face significant challenges – too many services reliant on temporary staff, the provision of training rotas for junior doctors particularly in paediatrics and the ability to meet the necessary clinical standards. We are at significant risk of losing training posts if we cannot find solutions that meet the Deanery’s requirements and services may become too fragile unless we plan for the future.

“The Board made a number of decisions in January in relation to neonatal services, complex obstetrics and paediatrics.

“Subsequently, the neo-natal element was referred to Welsh Government and the Health Board was requested to provide further details on our models for gynaecology and obstetrics which is being addressed by this on going planning work.

“It is our responsibility to find the right solution for Hywel Dda and this work is vital to ensure we do so.”

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head

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Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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