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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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Herald prize giveaway winners announced

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THE WINNERS of The Pembrokeshire Herald 300th issue prize giveaway have been announced.

Combining both online and postal entries, just shy of 3,000 people entered the competition.

To celebrate the 300th issue of The Pembrokeshire Herald, the newspaper contacted many of its advertisers, and assembled roughly £3,000 worth of prizes. Three lucky people won 11 prizes each. Those winners were announced as Chantelle Boswell, Sue Hedley and Amanda Jayne McKnight.

Herald Editor Tom Sinclair said: “This is one of our biggest ever competitions, with thousands of pounds worth of prizes – everyone at the Herald is looking forward to handing over these amazing prizes to the lucky winners.”

THE WINNERS

Chantelle Boswell won: a £50 voucher for a start up tropical fish set from Coast Aquatics; entry for two at Hangar 5; a £100 Tesco voucher; a £50 voucher for Haven Tyres; Clerkenhill Adventure Park family pass for two adults and four children; a free makeover by professional make-up artist Simone Bowen; two start-up guitar lessons; a £25 voucher for Clever Clogs in Haverfordwest; a family pass for Borth Wild Animal Kingdom; grass cut to the value of £25 from Top Notch Gardening and a luxury meal for two at the Griffin Inn, Dale.

Sue Hedley won: Sunday lunch for two from The Old Coach House in Fishguard; a full set of Pronails gel extensions from Betsan’s Beauty worth £40; one hour of laser tag for eight people at CQB Adventure; two fish and chip suppers from Fecci & Son’s; a free dental examination worth £60 from West Street Dental in Fishguard; a MOT voucher worth £45 for Top of Town Motors in Fishguard; a £25 voucher for Bombay Brasserie; tickets for Cats the musical; two tickets for Wales v England on August 17 in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match; a family pass for Oakwood Theme Park and free issues of The Herald for the rest of the year.

Amanda Jayne Mcknight won: a £100 Currys voucher; a £20 BBQ voucher for Prendergast Butchers; Sunday lunch for two from the Bus Stop Café; a men’s haircut once a month for rest of 2019 from Freestyle Barbers; one litre of homemade ice cream from Hooked @ 31; a bottle of Welsh Gin from the Royal Oak; brow definition treatment from Fab-u-lash; a £40 voucher for Jamangie Trading; dermal planning treatment from Coastal Aesthetics; a three month gym membership worth £105 for Synergy in Pembroke Dock and a family ticket for Easter Funday at Ffos Las.

The three winners will visit the Herald office for a chance to win a week in a Welsh holiday cottage, which would normally cost £1,000. This prize will be drawn on Tuesday April 23 at 4.30pm.

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Have your say on the Development Plan for Pembrokeshire

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PEMBROKESHIRE County Council is reviewing its Local Development Plan.

The new Plan will shape planning and development in Pembrokeshire for the next 15 years.

Between 17 December 2018 and 4 February 2019, the Council consulted on a Preferred Strategy for the new Plan.

At the same time, it consulted on several other related documents, including a Register of Candidate Sites, these being sites suggested to the Council for development or for protection from development, for possible inclusion in the new Plan.

During the consultation period, a further opportunity was provided to submit Candidate Sites.

In consequence, a further 55 sites were received, these being known as the Additional Candidate Sites.

As the Council provided an opportunity to comment on the initial tranche of Candidate Sites, it is now providing a like opportunity to comment on the 55 Additional Candidate Sites.

This opportunity is specific to the 55 additional sites submitted between 17 December 2018 and 4 February 2019, and does not apply to the initial batch of sites.

The consultation period for submission of comments on the Additional Candidate Sites runs from the 17 April 2019 to the 6 June 2019 at 4.30pm.

The Additional Candidate Sites Register is available to view on the Council’s web-site (see link below) and also at County Hall, Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire County Council Customer Service Centres and in local Libraries, during normal opening hours.

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/local-development-plan-review/candidate-sites

To find out more, you can contact the Local Development Plan team on 01437 764551 or by emailing ldp@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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West Wales responds to Notre-Dame ‘tragedy’

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Notre-Dame de Paris: The large fire partially destroyed the cathedral on Monday

THE WORLD has reacted to the major fire that partially destroyed Notre-Dame Cathedral, with religious leaders of west Wales among those to have sent prayers to Paris.

The large fire on Monday (Apr 15) damaged much of the historic landmark, destroying the roof as well as the famous spire. The fire began at around 6:30pm local time (4:30pm GMT) and it took until 10am (8am GMT) on Tuesday morning for firefighters to fully extinguish the blaze. Many of the relics held in the cathedral, including the crown of thorns brought there in 1239 by St. Louis, said to be that which was placed on the head of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion, were saved by firefighters. One firefighter is said to have suffered minor injuries while tackling the fire. The cause of the fire is not yet clear, but Paris’ public prosecutor is working under the assumption that it was an accident.

Whilst the principal structure was saved, including the famed towers, the building is still seen as unstable. Prior to the fire, there was already scaffolding in place to deal with the cracks appearing in the stonework. Renovations were underway and 16 copper statues had already been removed last week.

Notre-Dame de Paris, meaning ‘Our Lady of Paris’, is one of the most widely recognised symbols of France, and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site of the cathedral is thought to have been of religious significance dating back as far as Roman Gaul. The construction of the modern church began in 1163, and the cathedral is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

Already hundreds of millions of euros have been donated towards the reconstruction of the site, as people across the world have reacted to the news and sent both prayers and funds to Paris.

Bishop of Menevia Tom Burns said: “For a thousand years it has stood as a beacon of prayer and hope. But what a tragedy struck Paris and the French nation on Monday evening at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is a beautiful creation that resides at the very heart of French life and in the hearts of French people wherever they happen to be, of whatever faith or none. It has struck chords in all people of good will who have walked through its doors into an arena of peace and calm.

“Some years ago, after wondering at the flying-buttresses that supported the thick stone walls, I had entered under that roof, never conscious of the vulnerability of its wooden structure. As I saw on television on Monday evening the fire raging through the roof, and the spire disintegrating piece by piece, I felt a lump in my throat. I shared with the people of France my sense of having once touched something quite unique. For, it had been my privilege, as Bishop of HM Forces, to preach from the Cathedral’s vast pulpit on Remembrance Sunday just over a decade ago.

“Now this was another sad occasion to remember, though thankfully without any loss of life. As York Minster was resurrected from the flames some years ago, and similarly Windsor Castle in more recent times, may the experts in restoring ancient buildings combine their God-given skills to rebuilding Notre-Dame de Paris. May it rise from the ashes to fulfil its function as God’s House in this world and to re-assure us that such a building evokes belonging and inspires us to greater things. It is still greatly needed, if not even more so now.”

Fr. Liam Bradley, Parish Priest at St David and St Patrick Church in Haverfordwest, said: “We hold in our hearts and prayers those who take risks to save life and property. May God bless the skills of craftsmen and women as they undertake the task of rebuilding.

“God our Father, let the community of Paris come together in this moment of difficulty and grace, to rebuild your house and do you honour, and so provide an enduring monument of how high the human spirit can soar in the face of adversity.

“As buildings crumble, may our faith be strong; from the ashes, may new fruit be born. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Paris, may all the people of France be filled with the peace and joy of Jesus Christ, risen for us at Easter. Amen.

“St Denis – Pray for us!”

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