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Withybush petition surpasses 10,000 signatures

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THE PETITION opposing the ‘drastic changes’ to Withybush hospital has already received over 10,500 signatures.

It was revealed in last week’s proposals by the Hywel Dda University Health Board, that all of the options involve the downgrading of Withybush from a general hospital to a community facility.

The proposed changes would see Withybush left with non-medical beds, minor injuries and midwife-led maternity units and could carry out tests and scans.

Tenby would also have a summer minor injuries unit, whilst greater emphasis would be placed on caring in communities to mitigate the transport issues faced by the frailer, older population.

The Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit (PACU) which currently provides care from 10am until 6pm at Withybush will be removed and put into the new build between Narberth and St Clears.

It is not known yet whether services such as audiology, child development or backroom testing in the microbiology and biochemistry labs will stay or also be transferred to the new General hospital.

Having started the petition late Sunday evening (Apr 22) it has quickly gathered momentum amongst the displeased populace of Pembrokeshire, voicing their disappointment in the proposals put forth by the Health Board.

Although Hywel Dda has stressed no decisions have been made yet, and have reiterated that the consultation is open until July 12, many feel that it merely gives the illusion of discussion, and that plans to downgrade Withybush have been in place for some time.

In a Facebook comment after the petition was released, Mr Bamford-Lewis said: “They know what they’ve picked before they’ve picked it. The consultation is just lip service.”

The Save Withybush Action Team have also spoken out, offering a similar view, saying: “So the so-called ‘consultation’ has started. Options A, B & C aren’t really options at all.”

The Hywel Dda Health Board explained that the current situation regarding healthcare in west Wales is ‘unsustainable’ and Chief Executive Steve Moore said that the option of ‘doing nothing’ had been considered but that this was no longer possible.

The Health Board has the largest budget deficit in NHS Wales, of roughly £69m, up to 500 staff vacancies each month which must be counteracted by paying a premium and the local NHS currently sees 150,000 patients a week, with population growth combined with an increasingly ageing demographic stretching the system.

The petition can be found: https://www.change.org/p/steve-moore-and-vaughan-gething-pembrokeshire-says-no-to-the-closure-of-withybush-a-e

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Tenby: Discarded BBQ on beach burns feet

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COASTGUARDS in Tenby have asked people to safely dispose of their barbecues after a beachgoer suffered burns to their feet while on North Beach.

Coastguards were alerted to assist a casualty at 5:40pm on Wednesday (22 May).

The casualty was located in Castle Square.

The casualty was given first aid in before being taken to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen for further treatment.

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Milford Haven: £40,000 benefits fiddle admitted in Crown Court

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A MILFORD HAVEN woman has this afternoon admitted fiddling almost £40,000 in benefits she was not entitled to.

Elizabeth Haines, aged 59, of Cromwell Heights, kept quiet about her savings and investments which put her over the allowed limit.
Haines appeared at Swansea Crown Court via video link with Haverfordwest magistrates’ court for a plea and case management hearing before Judge Geraint Walters.
She admitted failing to notify Pembrokeshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions that she had the capital and received £39,281 in housing benefit, council tax relief and employment support allowances between April 2012 and November 2016.
Judge Walters agreed to sentence Haines on June 19 to allow a probation officer time to prepare a report on her.
Judge Walters said the starting point was a jail sentence but other options could be considered.
Haines was granted bail meanwhile.
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Behave or Be Banned scheme returns to tackle disorder

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Dyfed-Powys Police is working with licensees across the region to relaunch Behave or Be Banned (BOBB) – a scheme which sees people banned from pubs, clubs and bars for bad behaviour.

The scheme re-launches in time for the bank holiday weekend (May 25) and Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) across the force area are closely linked with businesses to reduce violence and disorder in pubs and clubs.

Chief Inspector Mark McSweeney said: “BOBB is an effective tool to help prevent, reduce and combat alcohol-related offences within communities.

“If anyone is arrested for a crime of violence, disorder or anti-social behaviour in licensed premises, or after leaving a licensed establishment in the Scheme, they will be banned from not just that licensed premises, but all licensed premises that display the Behave or Be Banned sign within the area.

“The message is simple – Behave or Be Banned!  In addition, if someone is a persistent nuisance for a licensee but their behaviour doesn’t merit arrest, licensees can also put them forward to receive a ban from all licensed premises.”

Problem customers are banned not just from the one pub but all those in the area that have signed up. It also tackles underage drinking and the use and supply of drugs.

Mr McSweeney added: “BOBB works.  It is not uncommon to see people being more concerned about whether they can get into a pub with their friends than they are about being arrested.

“Licensees will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in their premises and BOBB keeps such people out, making it safer and more enjoyable for everyone else.”

Dyfed-Powys Police’s summer campaign – #EnjoyDPP – encourages people to enjoy what the area has to offer, safely and with respect for others.

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