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Over 5000 in fight for 24 hour paediatrics

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No to cuts: A protest last year in Cardiff

AN ONLINE petition to bring back 24 hour paediatric services to Withybush General Hospital in Haverfordwest has gained over 5000 signatures in less than a week. 

The change.org appeal, started by hospital campaigner Myles Bamford- Lewis, was launched on social media today and has received a ground-swell of support.

Myles said: “I am petitioning the Hywel Dda Health Board and Mark Drakeford, the Health Minister to return 24 hour paediatrics to Withybush. Back in August 2014 the Hywel Dda pushed through a policy of centralisation to Glangwili Hospital. This now means that there is no Special Care Baby Unit, no 24-hour children’s ward and no 24 hour antenatal care in Pembrokeshire.

He added: “This in itself has had a negative impact on health care in south west Wales with many families being forced to travel for over an hour to reach Glangwili. This has also caused a great deal of hardship on these families, myself included, as we have been forced to drive up to a 100 mile round trip to reach these services.”

In response to the start of the online petition, Chief Executive Steve Moore told The Herald: “We have heard ourselves in our public engagement meetings, and it is apparent from the support for this petition, that there is still a great deal of concern in Pembrokeshire about the changes to some women and children’s services that were made last year. At the same time, we have received very clear independent, advice from various Royal Colleges that clinical outcomes for patients have been maintained and there is better compliance with professional standards. A review said there was no clinical sense in reversing the service changes which we cannot ignore and we are not therefore pursuing plans to return overnight, inpatient paediatric services to Withybush Hospital.

Hospital campaigners: Myles Bamford-Lewis and partner Jasmine McGinley

“We are however, making changes to improve current services and patient experience, both at Withybush Hospital and Glangwili Hospital. At Withybush Hospital for example, we are planning to move the Paediatric Assessment Unit closer to the Emergency Department, as part of a wider scheme to re-develop the hospital. This would have the benefit of improving patient flow between the Emergency Department and assessment unit and provide the ability for enhanced support by the specialist paediatric team to emergency staff.

“At Glangwili Hospital we are progressing plans for the Phase Two project to improve the environment for women and children’s services and we will be using data from patient experience surveys and seeking views on these plans. In the interim period we have provided enhanced transport services for families between the two hospitals and we hope to soon provide improved accommodation for fathers and families who may wish to wait at Glangwili Hospital for their partners during early labour.”

To sign the petition follow the link on this website or on our Facebook page.

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Pembrokeshire residents can quickly check symptoms for variety of conditions on NHS 111 Wales online

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NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker can save Pembrokeshire patients time by helping them find the right NHS service for treatment. Symptoms can be quickly checked for a variety of conditions and advice given on the best way to treat them by visiting www.111.wales.nhs.uk which is hosted by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

The way we access NHS services has changed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with more options now becoming increasingly utilised, including the NHS 111 Wales online service which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be used for both health information and advice and to access urgent primary care in Welsh and English.

In a recent YouGov survey, a third of Pembrokeshire residents had not even heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker and only 19% had used it during the past 12 months.

Andrew Carruthers, Director of Operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are asking everyone to help us by reconsidering the way you access NHS services. The methods available have changed but we are still here for you. It is worth getting to know the different ways you can access the NHS so you can be seen and treated quicker with your first port of call being NHS 111 Wales.”

According to the YouGov survey, carried out for the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign, only 67% of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker. However, 86% said they felt it was important to have access to the service.   

NHS 111 Wales online can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. The way it works is: You answer questions about your symptoms on the website and depending on the situation you will:

  •           Get self-care advice
  •           Be told how to get any medicine you need
  •           Find out what local service can help you
  •           Be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
  •           Get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
  •           Be given an arrival time if you need to go to A&E – this might mean you spend less time in A&E

For those who don’t have confidence going online to seek advice, there is the NHS 111 Wales phone service. This is also a free service where patients can contact the NHS by dialling 111 to receive advice on the best way to manage their issue or gain further assistance if needed. The bilingual telephone service is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Eighty-four percent of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales phone service when asked for the recent YouGov survey but only 20% had used the telephone service during the last 12 months.

 

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Trial date for son accused of killing mum

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THE SON of Judith Rhead, 68, who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Feb 20 will now appear in Crown Court again in October.

Dale Morgan, 43, said to be a scout master, appeared in court only to confirm his name, date of birth and address – which was listed as Honeyborough Green, Neyland.

A plea and trial preparation hearing date was set for March 26 with a provisional trial date set for October 4.

He was remanded in custody.

In court papers it stated that the alleged murder took place between December 10, 2020 and February 21, 2021.

The paperwork demonstrates that the police are unsure of the exact date that Ms Rhead died. The large date range, two months, points to the likelihood that this will be a challenging case for all those involved.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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