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Withybush: Health Board deny regular ambulance diversions

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THE DIRECTOR of Operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board has strongly denied claims on social media that over the last few days Withybush Hospital has been closed to ambulance admissions.

On Wednesday night the SWAT Facebook page printed a message from a whistle-blower claiming to be close to the ambulance service.
The un-named source contacted the campaign group and said: “[It’s] very worrying indeed… it is September and we haven’t yet been plunged into the traditional ‘winter pressures'”

The source added: “But, Withybush has been closed to ambulances for the past two days, it is full to capacity and cannot take ambulance patients as there is nowhere for them to go.
Glangwili cannot take our Pembrokeshire ambulance patients because they are in the same boat and full with nowhere for people to go.
“All Pembrokeshire ambulance patients have had to go to Prince Philip hospital in Llanelli which is now struggling to cope with the extra pressures and does not have the facilities to deal with all cases as it’s A&E is limited.
“Staff are running around trying to cope the best they can but it’s not fair to them and certainly not fair to unwell patients who are having to be taken miles away and don’t even know if there’s space to take them in.
“It also means their family are often unable to travel such distances to be with them in their time of need. This situation is appalling.”

However, the Health Board said this was inaccurate and wanted to set the record straight.

Joe Teape, Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive at Hywel Dda, said: “The health board strongly refutes the claims made on social media and we would like to take the opportunity to set the record straight.
“Over the past few days the vast majority of our patients in Pembrokeshire have been seen and treated by our extremely hard-working and dedicated clinical workforce at Withybush General Hospital, a number of whom have been caused significant distress as a result of what they have read on social media.
“As is commonplace at this time of the year we are experiencing pressures at some of our acute hospital sites, and in line with our usual escalation procedures a small number of appropriate patients have been diverted to Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals to ensure that we can accommodate our patients safely. The same protocol is followed on occasions when patients need to be diverted to Withybush.
“The health board has a responsibility to ensure that we deliver services which are clinically safe and put patients at the heart of everything that we do. Through joint working with internal and external partners, including our colleagues at WAST, the position has now improved and no diverts are currently in place. We would like to thank all of our staff and external colleagues for their support and hard work over this busy period.”

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Strong winds close Cleddau Bridge, other traffic problems reported

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THE CLEDDAU BRIDGE closed to all traffic this evening due to high winds, but there are other problems on the roads.

Here is the latest.

Between Cresselly and Lawrenny a large tree has been uprooted with the council reporting that a nearby bridge may have been damaged.

The council is reporting that there is flooding on the following roads (as at 17:00 HRS):

  • Rosemarket to Honeyborough
  • Road between Sutton and Nolton

A large tree has been been blown down between Lawrenny and Cresselly and has possibly damaged a bridge, meaning that the road will need to remain closed until Monday.

Reports of flooded roads:

  • Trewent – Freshwater East
  • Targate Raod between Freystrop and Johnston
  • Old Hakin Road, Haverfordwest as leaving Merlns Bridge
  • Druidston – Nolton Haven Road
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Home office is ‘misleading the public’ over police funding, says Police and Crime Commissioner

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THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER has told The Herald that he believes that the Home Office is ‘misleading the public’ that his force will have an increase in funding in 2019/2020.

On the face of it, it appears that Dyfed-Powys Police will have an increase in funding of £8.1 million in 2019/20. However this figure is based upon the presumption that PCC Dafydd Llywelyn will increase the current Band D property precept level by £24 annually.
After what he describes as a frustrating delay, the Government’s provisional grant funding settlement has been announced, which sets out the position for Dyfed-Powys Police for the 2019/20 financial year. On the face of it, it appears that Dyfed-Powys Police will have an increase in funding of £8.1 million in 2019/20. However this figure is based upon the presumption that PCC Dafydd Llywelyn will increase the current Band D property precept level by £24 annually.
PCC Dafydd Llywelyn said: “The way in which the Home Office and Central Government are misleading the public is disgraceful and I am very disappointed in the way this settlement once again shifts the burden onto local tax payers. I continue to try and do the right thing to protect our communities but I feel we are being let down by the Government in London as their actions are likely to impact on our local services.”
“I am currently consulting with the residents of Dyfed-Powys; asking if they would be willing to pay additional police precept to continue to safeguard our communities. Within the survey I have outlined the impact of for Dyfed-Powys Police and its communities. My decision will be made by listening to local communities and the professional advice of the Chief Constable.”
“I am working closely with the Chief Constable to critically review all aspects of the budget requirement. Given the scale of financial challenges that are faced, a precept increase will be unavoidable, but how much this is increased by should not be dictated by Government.”

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Police issue warning over sheep attacks in Pembrokeshire

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has issued advice to pet owners following a spate of livestock worrying incidents in the Saundersfoot, Narberth and Crescelly areas.

There have been six reports of dog attacks on sheep in the past three weeks, one of which caused a dog to be shot after it was caught attacking sheep in Solva.

PC Gerwyn Davies of the Pembrokeshire Rural Crime Team, told The Herald: “It is important dogs are always kept on leads near livestock, but especially so at this time of year. Sheep are heavily in lamb and their numbers have increased because they come from high grounds in mid Wales for the winter.

“Sheep worrying can have a long term effect on ewes as they can lose pregnancies as a result of stress. This obviously has a negative impact on farmers who not only lose out financially, but it is also very upsetting.

“Sadly, three ewes have been killed and several more injured in the past few weeks. One family dog was shot in Solva after it attacked sheep, which is a sad situation for the dog’s owner and upsetting for the farmer.”

Farmers can legally shoot any dog if they believe it is the only reasonable way of stopping it worrying livestock. If your dog chases or attacks livestock you should make arrangements to contact the landowner/livestock owner.

Anyone who has information about, or wants to make a report of livestock worrying, can contact the Pembrokeshire Rural Crime Team by calling 101.

Dog owners are reminded of this advice when walking in the countryside:

  • Do not allow your dog to enter a field on its own and keep it under your control at all times.
  • Keep your dog on a lead when crossing through fields that contain livestock.
  • Stick to public right of ways.

When at home:

  • Make sure you know where your dog is at all times.
  • Ensure that your property is secure and that your dog cannot escape day or night.
  • If you know your dog has previously chased or attacked sheep then take responsible measures to prevent it happening again.
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