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Health Secretary visits Withybush following £3m funding announcement

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Welcomed: The staff were delighted with the funding news

HEALTH SECRETARY, Vaughan Gething, announced today (Apr 12) that £3m funding will be provided to modernise haematology, oncology and palliative care services at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest.

To accompany the news, he also visited Withybush Hospital this morning.

The funding will enable the hospital’s existing Ward 10 to be modernised to improve safety, clinical quality and provide a better environment for patients and staff. The former Ward 9 area will also be developed to serve as a ward area to allow Ward 10 patients to be cared for while the building works are carried out on the existing Ward 10, which will close for refurbishment.

The local community in Pembrokeshire has played a significant part in helping to raise funds to improve these facilities with over £450,000 being raised to date by the Health Board’s Pembrokeshire Cancer Services Fund and Elly’s Ward 10 Flag Appeal.

Vaughan Gething: At Withybush Hospital

Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said: “I am very happy to able to announce the £3.15m funding to complete the improvements to Wards 9 and 10 at Withybush Hospital. This project will transform these services at the hospital to provide a modern fit-for-purpose environment for staff, patients and their families. It was a pleasure to meet with staff and the Neville family today. Elly’s fundraising efforts have been truly inspirational and the new facility will be a tribute to her hard work and dedication.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board Chair, Bernardine Rees OBE, said: “This is fantastic news for Pembrokeshire. I wish to pay tribute to our staff, fundraisers and partners, for their part in reaching this milestone in the project, particularly Elly’s Ward 10 Flag Appeal. We look forward to moving forward at pace now to make these improvements for our local population.”

Lyn Neville, Elly’s father, said: “On behalf of Elly’s Ward 10 Flag Appeal we are very pleased that the funding has been given for Ward 10 which will be another step towards providing excellent cancer services for Pembrokeshire. On a personal note after many years of campaigning for Ward 10 I am also very pleased that, as seen with the new Pembrokeshire Haematology & Oncology Day Unit (PHODU), patients and staff will be able to receive and deliver care in excellent new facilities.”

Ward 10 Flag Appeal: Elly Neville with Vaughan Gething

Work is expected to start shortly and be completed by the summer of 2019.

The new Ward 10 configuration will provide:

  • 18 beds (of which 5 will be ensuite) in a superior ward environment. The single rooms will be used for patients requiring isolation facilities or greater privacy during their care.
  • A dedicated day room for patients to socialise, receive rehabilitation, relax and have their meals.
  • Improved overnight facilities for relatives including a dedicated relatives room.
  • A discharge lounge to serve Ward 10 along with the hospital’s other medical wards.

The Ward 9 refurbishment element of the project will provide:

  • A sub-pharmacy area.
  • Treatment and clinical support functions.
  • A decant facility for Ward 10 whilst its building works are undertaken including 14 beds, 5 of which would be single-bedded ensuites (2 of these would be bariatric styled facilities) and a day room facility.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes

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A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half years ago.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the force had documented just 87.6% of reported crime – meaning upto 4,400 crimes are not recorded each year.

The report highlighted that of violent crimes, 85.4% were registered, which means about 2,400 went unrecorded, some involving domestic abuse or the vulnerable.

The force said it had “plans in place to improve its crime recording.”

HMIC reached their conclusion by comparing the number of reports to the police with recorded numbers. About 35,900 were reported.

In 2018, HMIC found that our local force was too often not recording crimes. And in 2014 it was reported the force was one of the worst in the UK at recording crimes. 

Dyfed-Powys Police T/Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter was quick to respond to the shocking finding. In a statement emailed to The Herald she said: “We accept the concerns and recommendations published by HMICFRS in respect of crime data integrity. As an organisation, we are firmly committed to supporting victims and putting them at the heart of everything we do. The force has plans in place to improve its crime recording and I am determined we will get this right.

“Since the previous HMICFRS inspection in 2018 we have made significant improvements in our response to Domestic Abuse victims, creating the vulnerability desk which provides real time intelligence to officers attending incidents of Domestic Abuse and ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are in place through a new partnership hub. Recent audits in April evidenced we were achieving a 98% compliance for the completion of risk assessments. This ensures that every Domestic Abuse victim is looked after and kept safe.

“We have a programme of change already in place which will deliver significant process and cultural change. The elements of this programme will improve the forces’ ability to manage demand, support victims, improve the timeliness and quality of investigations and supervision of crime. HMICFRS were unable to take this project into account as part of this inspection. Delivery plans commence next month (June 2021).

“Since the date of this inspection, we are already seeing improvements as a result of the swift additional action we have taken, achieving 100% crime recording compliance in respect of anti-social behaviour for February and March 2021 which is positive.”

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Firefighters extinguish blaze at St Catherine’s Fort, Tenby

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A CONTROLLED wood fire earlier in the day caused a fire to break out on Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island on Thursday (May 6).

Heat that was caused by a wood fire earlier in the day caused a ignition on the unburned wood nearby that was needed to be extinguished by Tenby fire crew.

Taking to their Facebook page, St Catherine’s island thanked Tenby Fire Brigade for their assistance.

No serious damage was caused by the incident.

The spokesperson said: “A massive shout out to Tenby Fire Brigade last night who were called to the Island last night after we left following a long day working on the Fort and burning off all the old flooring, having now replaced it all. 

“We had spent at least half an hour making sure that our controlled barrel fire was out. Unfortunately the ground was so hot it transferred to the rest of the unburned wood. 

“Thanks to our amazing local Fire Service, they were on hand to help us out and no damage occurred.”

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