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Questions over £25m for maternity care at Glangwili

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THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has announced its approval of £25m of funding for upgraded neonatal care at Glangwili Hospital, only a week before the Board is due to consult on radical changes to clinical services across west Wales.

The announcement was made during a visit to Glangwili by Cabinet Secretary for Health, Vaughan Gething.

The £25m investment at the hospital is a hangover from the last round of changes and cuts to clinical services, which saw consultant-led obstetric services stripped from Withybush Hospital, with assurances made that facilities at Glangwili were fit and ready to accept more patients.

Shortly after services were transferred, a report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health stated that facilities at Glangwili were not up to the standard required of a modern consultant-led unit and that significant sums of money were required to bring them up to snuff, stating: ‘The Glangwili labour ward is not fit for purpose; it is too small, with insufficient facilities and provides a poor environment for women and staff. The increased numbers of women using the unit, including those with high-risk pregnancies from Pembrokeshire has put additional pressure on the staff with two culturally very different teams learning to work together in cramped and difficult conditions.’

The Board accepted the Royal College’s recommendations and – due to the requirements of making out a business case to the Welsh Government – it has taken two years to secure funding to carry out the work recommended in September 2015 to deal with the fall out of the last reorganisation. That business plan predated the Board’s current and ongoing intention to reorganise west Wales’ healthcare in what is widely being trailed as ‘once in a generation’ change.

Speaking during the visit, the Cabinet Secretary said: “I’m delighted to approve £25million Welsh Government funding for the further redevelopment of Glangwili Hospital’s obstetric and neonatal facilities.

“This funding will improve the clinical quality, safety and innovation at the site. It will mean better access to services for patients and their parents, as well as improving the well-being of staff. This investment will address the urgent areas of concern highlighted in the Royal Colleges’ report on maternity services in Hywel Dda Health Board.

“This should significantly improve the patient experience and accommodation for families and, as it is a larger unit, may also reduce the risk of families having to travel out of our area for care due to capacity reasons.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “We welcome this news as women, children and their families deserve to have better accommodation than we are currently able to offer at Glangwili Hospital. We hope this provides our population with confidence that we will now proceed with pace to make these improvements.”

Work is expected to start before the autumn and the aim is for the scheme to be complete by 2020, by which time the future of service provision should be decided. It appears that investing £25m at Glangwili in these circumstances would be unlikely to proceed to completion of the project.

We asked the Welsh Government whether or not the £25m investment was certain to proceed, but did not get a reply to our enquiry.

We put the same point to the Health Board, who told us: “We note there has been concern that the delivery of this capital project may be adversely affected by our forthcoming consultation on the future of health services in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area which, subject to Board decision, is due to launch on Thursday, April 19.

“We would like to reassure our population that our business of providing healthcare to the very best of our abilities continues – this is the right thing to do and what our patients deserve and should rightly expect from the NHS.

“We cannot pre-judge what the outcomes of our proposed consultation may be, and even if there is change to Glangwili OR Withybush Hospital in the future, this may be several years ahead. We continually evolve and improve our services, responding to advances in medicine and technology, and this will continue.”

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns, the Conservative’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “Only in January the Cabinet Secretary announced £1.2m for the Board to put together a business case for further improvements to the neonatal and maternity services at Glangwili. The business case is supposed to go out for public consultation and is expected to be received by the Welsh Government this summer.

“This – very welcome – £25m is to make headway on the promise made by the Welsh Government years ago that the sacrifice of the Haverfordwest SCBU would result in a level two Special Care Baby Unit and provide better maternity facilities at Glangwili.

“It’s about time, but I have to wonder whether this is just easing the way for potential further radical changes and if the money will still head to Glangwili if the reconfiguration proposals pull services away from the hospital.”

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Pembroke: Emergency services dealing with another suspicious substance

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have returned to Pembroke Castle this afternoon (July 20) following reports of another container with a suspicious substance being found.

Dyfed-Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and the Welsh Ambulance Service have attended the scene.

South Quay car park was closed at 1:30pm. It has since re-opened, however the pathway behind Pembroke Castle remains closed.

Pembroke Castle itself remains open.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report of suspicious containers found at Pembroke Castle at around 1.10pm today (Friday, July 20).

“Enquiries are continuing to safely establish exactly what substance is within the containers.

“Police would like to reassure members of the public that this is a safety precaution and that no one has been injured or harmed at this time. There is not believed to be any risk to the public at present.”

It emerged that a bottle bearing the word Novichok had been discovered last week, and the police are treating it as a hoax.

Paddle West, who offer row boat hire near the castle posted on Facebook: “Currently closed due to another bottle incident. If anyone knows the culprit please contact the police so we don’t have to do this every weekend!”

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Pembroke Dock: Indian restaurant owner sexually assaulted teenager

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THE OWNER of a Pembroke Dock restaurant who sexually assaulted the same girl three times has been made the subject of a suspended prison sentence.

Riaz Miah, aged 42, had been found guilty after a trial of three indecent assaults all committed on the same day.
Judge Paul Thomas told Miah he should feel disgusted and ashamed of himself.
Miah, of St Marks Close, Merlin’s Bridge, was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 15 sessions of a rehabilitation activity. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Miah was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and must register with the police as a sex offender, both for 10 years.
Swansea Crown Court heard how he had kissed the 17 year old, licked her face and touched her breast and bottom.
His barrister, Carina Hughes, told the court his business had failed in January because of financial problems.
The victim wrote in an impact statement she was still too afraid to out alone in Pembroke Dock for fear of bumping into Miah. She still suffered nightmares and sometimes woke in floods of tears.
Judge Thomas told Miah, a married father of two, his behaviour had been disgraceful and he found it disappointing that he still denied the offending despite the verdicts of the jury.
“She was disgusted and repelled by what you did. She was affected psychologically and has suffered a loss of confidence. You richly deserve a prison sentence,” he added.
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Welsh Water reminds customers to use water wisely 

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WELSH WATER customers are being asked to continue using water efficiently to help the company maintain water supplies and protect the environment as the current dry spell is set to continue through July and into August.

June was the hottest on record in Wales with only 24% of long term average rainfall during the month.  With the heatwave now set to continue and only limited rainfall predicted over the next few weeks, WelshWater is working  closely with water watchdog Consumer Council for Water and Natural Resources Wales to remind customers that using water wisely will not only help protect supplies for customers but also help the wider environment.  Many of the company’s upland reservoirs are used to release extra water into rivers during these conditions to increase river levels and protect local wildlife.

The company is now spending an extra £1.5 million a week to safeguard water supplies for its three million customers across most of Wales, Herefordshire and Deeside. It has already taken extensive action to prepare for and manage this prolonged dry period including:

  • 450 people working 7 days a week to find and fix 140 leaks a day (80 in normal conditions). Whilst leakage has been halved in the last 10 years and is currently at an all-time low, customers are being encouraged to report leaks to Welsh Water as the company will also repair customers’ pipes free of charge if they have a leak;
  • deploying 40 tankers to move water around the network and installing temporary pipelines and pumping stations to help keep customers in supply where we have seen huge increases in demand; and
  • pumping over 1 billion litres a day  into the network over the past 15 days. This is 25% more than usual amount of water put into the network every day.

 Customers are being urged to use water wisely:

  • Take a break from watering the garden – the lawn will grow back quickly once it starts to rain
  • Take a short shower instead of a bath
  • Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth
  • Always make sure any washing machines and dishwashers are full

 Managing Director of Water Services, Ian Christie, said:  “The level of water consumption has reached record levels in recent weeks. This is not surprising after the record temperatures in June and the continued lack of any substantial rainfall in July.

“These challenging weather conditions are set to continue, and behind the scenes, we’re working day and night to maintain supplies by finding and fixing leaks, using our integrated pipe network to move water around and also using tankers to feed into our network directly.

“We’d like to thank customers for working with us and urge them to continue reporting any leaks and follow the advice we have issued on how to use water efficiently so that we can help protect water supplies also play our part in safeguarding the local environment.”

Natalie Hall, Water Manager for Natural Resources Wales, said:“We’re responsible for securing the proper use of natural resources in Wales and making sure there is enough water available for all needs including the environment and people.

“We’re seeing some very low flows in our rivers and low rainfall totals across Wales during this prolonged period of dry weather and there are concerns that water quality and the environment will suffer if the dry weather continues through the summer.

“Every drop of water we use is taken from rivers or groundwater, so we are asking people to conserve water as much as they can.

“Saving water is something anyone can do and doing things differently can make a big difference – like having a shower instead of a bath, turning taps off when brushing your teeth, reducing sprinkler use and using water butts.”

Tom Taylor, Wales Chair for the Consumer Council for Water, said:“Customers are much more willing to use water wisely if they can see their water company is going the extra mile to maintain a reliable supply of water, so we’re pleased Welsh Water is taking exactly the sort of action we would expect.”

“With no end in sight to the hot weather, we’d urge people across Wales to keep playing their part by making every drop of water count in the home and garden. Customers can soak up some great tips on our website and Welsh Water’s too – it’s amazing the difference small changes can make.”

 

Saving water in the GARDEN

 

·         Use a watering can or handheld hose pipe instead of a garden sprinkler

·         Fit a hose trigger gun when using a hose, available from our Product Portal

·         Add water retention crystals to pots, tubs and hanging baskets to help keep compost moist, available here on our Product Portal

·         Don’t cut lawns too short and save the clippings to use as mulch to improve soil health

 

 

Saving water in the BATHROOM

 

·         Take a shower and reduce the number of baths you have

·         Put the plug in the basin when you wash and use the collected water instead

·         Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth

·         Always make sure taps are turned off fully

·         Fix a water efficient showerhead

·         Fix any leaking taps to avoid wasted water

·         If you are installing a new bathroom, always choose water efficient products

 

Saving water in the KITCHEN

 

·         Use a washing up bowl when washing up

·         Fix any leaking taps

·         Wait until you have a full load before doing your washing

·         Only fill the kettle with the water you need

·         If you are purchasing a new appliance which uses water, be sure to check how waterefficient it is

 

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