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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 publisher ceases operations

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HERALD NEWS UK LTD, the company which prints The Pembrokeshire Herald, The Carmarthenshire Herald and The Llanelli Herald has ceased operations.

Editor of Pembrokeshire Herald, Thomas Sinclair said: “After finalising today’s paper to go to print yesterday, a meeting was held last night. It was confirmed that the expected further investor funding would not be made available for the company.

“This meant that operations need be halted as the businesses was not able to pay its ongoing costs.

“At 10am today the 24 members of staff working at the newspaper have today been given notice of redundancy.

“We are absolutely devastated that after nearly 7 years and hundreds of editions of the paper we can no longer continue.”

“I would like to think that over those years, some of the stories we have written have made a difference to Pembrokeshire and beyond.”

Director of Herald News UK Limited, John Hammond said: “The company accountant could be appointing administrators as soon as next week.”

“The Owners of The Pembrokeshire Herald came to the conclusion last night during a finance meeting that the venture is no longer financially viable.

“Whilst every conceivable effort has been made to improve the financial situation of the business, we have to face the fact that there is no way that we can now continue in a solvent position.

“Whilst there has been a slow decline in readership of local newspapers, our costs for wages, printing and transport have substantially increased.”

“We would like to thank all of our loyal readers and staff.”

Community: Herald titles were campaigning newspapers

Popular: 45,000 people read Herald titles each week in west Wales

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Crocodiles to appear at Folly Farm in early 2020

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A PAIR of crocodiles is set to join the Folly Farm family and be shown off in a new enclosure. The West African Dwarf crocodiles will take their place in the Tropical Trails exhibit next February.

The fascinating reptiles are classified as vulnerable due to being hunted for their meat and having their habitats destroyed. The crocs are labelled as ‘dwarf’ in name only, as both are over five foot long at 29 years old. Folly Farm is re-homing them from Drayton Manor Park, their home for several years, as it is currently renovating its crocodile enclosures.

The female of the duo was caught in the wild as part of the illegal pet trade and seized by customs whilst her male companion was captive-bred at Barcelona Zoo. The two crocs will join sloths, bats and snakes in the Tropical Trails enclosure.

Folly Farm’s zoo curator, Tim Morphew, said: “Tropical Trails seeks to highlight the issues of habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade, so these new additions will be a flagship species for the conservation messages we’re trying to deliver. We’re designing the enclosure to replicate the swampy, forest habitats in Africa with plenty of glass viewing windows so our visitors will get a good view of these powerful creatures.”

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Community Engagement Event in Narberth

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A PART of the roll out of information about the Household Waste and Recycling Changes, Pembrokeshire County Council will have information and advice for local residents.  It is a chance to find out about:

  • Reusable Nappy Scheme
  • Absorbent Hygiene Product collections (AHP’s)
  • Availability of assisted collections
  • Kerbside Sort – New method and new containers
  • Additional recyclable household items
  • Text alerts for collection days

There will also be plans on show of the current active travel routes in Narberth and residents will be able to discuss and comment on how they work for the town and how they could be improved whilst planning for the future.

An officer from Sustrans, the Sustainable Transport Charity, will also demonstrate what has been done so far with the multi user route from Narberth to Haverfordwest and what plans there are for the future.

Cllr. Vic Dennis said

“All 3 of these pieces of work are part of the local efforts to reduce carbon and improve our environment, along with helping us to access and enjoy our environment.  I am delighted that we have staff from County Hall here to advise and answer questions as well as listen to local people.

The roll out for the new recycling and waste collection is planned for 4th November so it will be very timely to have this information available before then.  Join us in the Sports Hall at Bloomfield Community Centre, Narberth between 1-4pm on Weds 23rd October 2019.

I hope that residents from the surrounding area will also take the opportunity to join us to find out more.”

This is a part of a wide information campaign so look out for further information in the press, on social media and on the website at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/waste-changes

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