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Neyland: Health Board want solution in place before closure

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Chat: Neyland Town Council members chatted with Health Board officials before the meeting

THE HYWEL DDA HEALTH BOARD hopes to have a solution in place by September for residents of Neyland affected by the closure of the St Clements Surgery.

The Health Board confirmed that they are speaking to a number of other providers about services being kept in Neyland but added that if they created a level of anxiety or concern in the area it could work negatively against them.

The Argyle Medical Group’s application to close the Surgery was accepted by the Health Board and will be closing on September 1.

The Group had originally applied for the surgery to close in April but that was rejected by the Health Board.

Argyle Medical Group currently has its main practice in Pembroke Dock and another in Pembroke called St Oswalds.

The decision to close the surgery prompted anger amongst Neyland residents and a public meeting was held with representatives of the Argyle Medical Group in January and over 200 people attended.

The Town Council also called for a second public meeting with the Health Board but they refused and instead offered to meet with the council to discuss the issues.

That meeting took place on Tuesday, June 5, where Town Councillors posed a number of questions to the five Health Board members in attendance.

Prior to the meeting a Town Council spokesperson told the Herald they were ‘very worried’ and ‘concerned’ for the people of Neyland about how they would access services in Pembroke Dock.
The spokesperson added: “We feel it is totally unacceptable for residents of Neyland and we need to find some way of easing the burden on the residents.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, Health Board officials assured the Town Council that they were working towards a solution and that they hoped to have that solution in place before the closure of the St Clements Surgery.

Health Board Director of Primary Community and Long Term Care, Jill Paterson said they were talking to other practitioners about a solution but did not want to confirm who they were.
Jill said: “Whenever we get a situation around a change in practices it is very difficult for patients that might be affected by that so I want to assure you that we have heard the views and one of the issues is the issue around travel. The contract for this practice rests with the Argyle practice, the Health Board isn’t taking over a contract at this point and the practice is not returning to us.

“At this point, what the practice is saying, they have got sustainability issues but they are advising that they will continue to provide the care for patients who were previously being seen at St Clements, but clearly, on the other side of the water.

“We know it is the wish of the St Clements practice that the majority of them still want their patient care being provided in this site.

“The reason we are not taking over the practice is that we don’t have the contract coming back to us to allow us to take over.

“Access to services was very much considered by the Primary Care Applications Committee at the time which the decision had to be made and on the other hand we were weighing up the sustainability issues the practice was facing with the significant reduction in their medical manpower.

“What we also needed to do, and we’re still in that discussion, is recognise that whilst in the interim, the practice will continue to offer that service to St Clements patients, it’s incumbent on the Health Board to think about the other options that might be available.

“I think the difficulty, at this point, is we are still in the process of those discussions with other providers of services in the local area, but we’re not at a point in which anything can be confirmed.”

Cllr Bill McGarvie asked if the closure of the Surgery could be delayed until an option was in place.

Jill responded: “We are still a few months from that closure and I’m hoping that we would be able to be at a point where we’re able to be more confident in articulating a more local option for St Clements, we’re in lots of discussions at the moment, there are things that other providers are putting forward that we need to work through.

“I’m hopeful that by the time we are coming towards the closure point there will be a level of confidence that we can give around that future option.”

Councillors also asked if transport would be provided to take patients to Pembroke Dock and Health Board Vice Chair Judith Hardisty said they were currently exploring all of the options.
Cllr Gareth Lawlor asked why St Clements was the one chosen for closure instead of St Oswalds in Pembroke.

Judith Hardisty said: “That was the question we put to them, why St Clements and not St Oswalds? Their argument was, in using the resources they’ve got they felt they could better provide the services they’ve got by concentrating that in Pembroke Dock.”

Cllr Lawlor also asked about staffing levels in St Oswalds and it was revealed that it was currently staffed at the same level as Neyland.

Cllr McGarvie asked if there could be a nurse-led service in Neyland and he was told that was one option that had been considered.

Vice-chair Judith Hardisty later went on to say that Argyle Medical Group had admitted that when they merged they didn’t do enough to properly merge their services and added that they do understand the strength of feeling at the decision they have made.

She also said that as soon as they had anything definite they would share it with them and that they would make sure Argyle Medical Group will meet the conditions that had been laid down.

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Tenby: Suspected groomer netted by paedophile hunters PH Balance

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A SUSPECTED child sex offender has been arrested in Tenby this weekend in a sting operatition set up by a peadophile hunter group called PH Balance.

The group, according to media reports, aims to catch predators on social media and in chat rooms before conducting stings and then handing evidence to the police.

A post on the group’s Facebook page has received a lot of local attention and includes a photograph of the suspect being detained by officers at Tenby railway station on Sunday (Jul 22)

A spokesman from PH Balance calling himself Taz posted: “Today the west team deployed to Tenby under the leadership to capture a ‘creature’ who had been talking to a 14-year-old girl and arranged to meet her at midday.

“The team caught him and called the police who responded rapidly and made an arrest.

“Two in two days for the PH family, and a busy summer holidays looks [to be] on the horizon.

“Well done PH Balance West.”

Dyfed-Powys Police have been contacted by The Herald for a comment.

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Keep Calm and Carry On at Carew Castle’s murder mystery events

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WOULD-BE detectives will be given the chance to catch a killer at Carew Castle on 27 and 28 July during two Second World War-themed murder mystery evenings packed with drama and intrigue.

Don’t Panic by Harvey’s Players is set in 1943 Carew, where a murder rocks the sleepy village as it gears up for the annual flower and produce show. It will be down to you to help the home guard track down the culprit and put them behind bars.

Carew Castle Manager, Daisy Hughes said: “If you’re a fan of detective dramas, 1940s fashion and good food, then join us in the Castle’s cosy Lesser Hall, where we’ll keep the home fires burning while the investigation ensues.

“Fancy dress is optional but with the cast donning authentic uniforms loaned from Carew Control Tower and a prize for the best Vera Lynn lookalike, there’s all the more reason to delve into your wartime wardrobe for afternoon dresses, hats and military outfit to fully immerse yourself in this 1940s experience.”

Tickets are £20 for adults and £18 for children (not suitable for under 12s). Doors will open at 7pm with the event starting at 7.30pm on both nights. Ticket price includes buffet. A bar will be available all evening.

To book your tickets call Carew Castle on 01646 651782 or more information visit www.carewcastle.com.

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Milford Haven: Two more arrested in Mount Estate drugs raids

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ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police have carried out further drugs warrants in the Elm Lane and Willow End area of the Mount Estate in Milford Haven this week.

As a result of the raids, which took place on the morning  Friday  July 20, a quantity of drugs were seized and two males were arrested.

One male remains in custody and one has been released under investigation.

A police spokesperson told The Herald that an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

The spokesperson added: “Anyone with information on drug use is asked to report to police by calling 101, or anonymously contact Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.”

Police at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on July 20, 2018 (Pic: Herald)

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