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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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16 monochrome TV licences still in Pembrokeshire

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NEW figures released by TV Licensing show that after more than 50 years of colour transmissions, 16 black and white TV Licences are still in force in Pembrokeshire.

More than 300 households in Wales are still watching television via black and white TV sets, rather than enjoying critically acclaimed shows like The Bodyguard, McMafia and Killing Eve, in full colour.

Despite an increase in the use of smart televisions, as well as tablets and smart-phones to access TV content, a surprising number of Welsh households are spurning 21st Century technology in favour of nostalgic monochrome TV sets.

According to this year’s figures, Cardiff leads the way with 43 black and white licences, followed by Carmarthenshire with 28 monochrome licences and Monmouthshire with 23 monochrome licences.

The number of black and white licences issued each year has, however, steadily been declining. In 2000 there were 212,000 black and white TV Licences in force, but by 2003 that number had shrunk to 93,000. By 2015, the number had dipped below 10,000.

Fay Jones, a spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “Over half of the UK’s TVs now connect to the internet, so it’s interesting that more than 300 households in Wales still choose to watch their favourite shows on a black and white telly.

“Whether you watch EastEnders, Strictly or Question Time in black and white on a 50-year-old TV set or in colour on a tablet, you need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record programmes as they are broadcast. You also need to be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, on any device.”

Find when one is needed at: www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info

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Neyland: Mother issues warning after boy ‘grabbed by hooded man’

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THE MOTHER of a boy who was grabbed by a ‘hooded man’ in the street on Tuesday evening (Nov 13) in Neyland has warned other parents to be vigilant.

Sarah Hibbert said that her son was grabbed by a man at approximately 8:05pm, but thankfully managed to get away.

Posting a warning on Facebook, Sarah said: “Just feel I should make people in Neyland aware.. my son was on his way home tonight at about 8:05 and got grabbed from behind by a man with a hood up in Riga Avenue.

“He managed to shove him off and run home, he’s not hurt but he was pretty shaken.

“The police have been informed. I don’t want to spook everyone but this is a scary incident and I feel people should be aware.”

After being shared over 400 times, she added that police are now involved and taking the incident seriously.

She added: “The police are taking it seriously and have said that there will be extra patrols in the area.”

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Police received a report of a suspicious incident which occurred at approximately 8pm on Tuesday 13th November 2018 in Riga Avenue, Neyland.

“A boy in his mid-teens reported that a man had taken hold of his arm from behind. The boy ran off. Nothing was said and the boy was not injured.

“The man is described at approximately 6ft tall, average build and wearing a dark coloured coat with the hood up.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Milford Haven Police by phoning 101.”

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50,000 homes to have different bin collections over Christmas

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PEMBROKESHIRE households are being urged to sign up for Pembrokeshire County Council’s free notification service as the countdown to Christmas begins

The message comes after it was revealed almost 50,000 homes will be affected by changes planned for this year’s Christmas waste collections.

Households and businesses serviced by Pembrokeshire County Council’s waste collections scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays will be affected as the new arrangements take place.

Monday collections remain unchanged.

With no waste or recycling collections scheduled for Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, collections will be pushed back for two days in Christmas week and one day the following week, resulting in some collections taking place on Saturdays and Sundays.

‘Notify’ sends an E-mail or SMS text message to service users the day before their next collection is due telling them what bins to put out on the kerbside.

Over 4,000 text messages have already been sent out to registered users.

Cabinet Member for Environment and Welsh Language, Councillor Cris Tomos says the service is invaluable for householders, particularly over the festive season.

“With around 80% of us having waste collections on days we are not used to over the Christmas period, this service helps householders avoid confusion.

“With no waste collections scheduled for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day we are collecting a day or two later than normal.

“Rescheduling collections in this way results in an increase of just one or two days between collections whereas the previous system could result in longer periods without a collection for some.

“The new method means we will collect two days later than normal following Christmas and Boxing Day and one day later than normal following New Year’s Day.

“This is a better system for Householders and service users who register for ‘Notify’ will avoid any confusion given the service tells them when their next collection is and what bins will be collected and I encourage all householders to sign up.

For more information and to sign up for weekly waste reminders visit www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/notify

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