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Hospital transport service a ‘God-send‘



Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 09.22.20A MOTHER-OF-THREE from Monkton, Pembroke, has praised the Family Support Transport Service for the invaluable support they provided during her pregnancy.

Mum to 10-year-old Chloe, 4-yearold David and 3-month-old Nico, 28-year-old Bethan has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and finds it extremely difficult to use public transport even with the support of her partner – Mark Jones – who is also Bethan’s carer. She said:

“Having access to the transport service helped to ease my anxiety around public transport. I find it difficult to use public transport at the best of times, being heavily pregnant made it impossible.”

Bethan’s pregnancy with baby Nico wasn’t straightforward and left her needing extra health care: “My pregnancy with Nico wasn’t easy; I was diagnosed with anaemia, gestational diabetes, a vitamin B12 deficiency and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).

On top of that I was emotional with pregnancy hormones which made my BPD worse. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it to my appointments without the transport service.

“I’d never been to Glangwili Hospital before and didn’t know my way around. The drivers were so helpful; the first time I visited for an appointment the driver walked me to the department so I didn’t get stressed.

“Because of the gestational diabetes I also had to give birth in Glangwili Hospital. The thought of that was very daunting but all of the drivers were so polite and lovely and made me feel very comfortable. The man who drove me home after I gave birth to Nico even helped carry my bags!

“The service has been a Godsend to me and to my family. I can’t recommend it any more highly than I have.”

Bethan has also praised Flying Start Midwife, Linda Peacock, for arranging her access to the Family Support Transport Service:

“Linda was just brilliant, she was so much more to me than just a midwife.” Linda commented: “The service is fantastic. It is an invaluable help to families who do not have access to their own transport or have specific needs.”

The Family Support Transport Service is provided by Action for Children in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board to offer transport support for Pembrokeshire families using women and children’s services in Carmarthen. The service is available Monday-Friday 9am-9pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am- 4pm.

It is primarily used for planned appointments or for transport home following an emergency admission.

They also have the ability to call on alternative transport provision should they be unable to provide the service themselves, for example at peak periods, to ensure that vulnerable families receive transport when required.

Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, Steve Moore, explained: “Whilst we know there remains significant concern and desire in Pembrokeshire to see all paediatric services re-instated at Withybush Hospital, we are as a health board looking at what we can do to strengthen services for children at the hospital and how we can make things easier for families when they do need to travel.

“We hope that Bethan’s story will raise awareness of the transport support that is available both amongst staff who advise and assist patients, and the wider public.”

Action for Children work very closely with the Midwife Led Units and Paediatric Ambulatory Care Units at Withybush and Glangwili hospitals and also link with Emergency Departments and community midwives when they require transport for children and young families. Referrals are made through your Consultant or Midwife; if you feel you need extra support please make contact with them.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50



EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea



A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms



A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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