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​Council will not recommend special measures for Hywel Dda



PEMBROKESHIRE County Council will not be recommending that Hywel Dda University Health Board should be placed into special measures.

Cllr Paul Dowson’s notice of motion calling for them do so was debated at the Full Council meeting on Thursday (Feb 21).

When it was put to the vote, Cllrs John Cole, Phil Kidney, Stephen Joseph and Jon Harvey were the only four to join Cllr Dowson in supporting his motion.

The motion was previously debated at the Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny meeting in January where it was decided to hold a seminar, closed to members of the public, to discuss it further.

Cllr Dowson had pointed out in his supporting statement that the Health Board had missed a number of targets and has a deficit of nearly £70m.
However it was felt that placing the board in special measures would be a ‘backwards step’ and ‘make the situation worse’.

At Thursday’s meeting, Cllr Vic Dennis said he could not support the motion saying: “It doesn’t do anything to support the morale of staff.”

Cllr Jamie Adams thanked the Scrutiny chair for calling the seminar and said there were assurances that there would be a recovery in the Board’s performance.

He added: “No Health Board is working to budget in Wales, simply suggesting that one of our key strategic partners should be placed in special measures is dangerous. I am amazed that any cabinet member has not taken part in the discussion so far.
“It would be highly detrimental to social care services if Hywel Dda was to be placed in special measures. The lack of confidence it inevitably brings would be difficult to get out of.”

Cllr Jonathan Preston said: “There is very little meat on the bone as to what special measures will look like. We will not be able to call the Health Board in to County Hall, we would lose that control and the dialogue we have with them will be gone.”

Cllr Mike John said: “I have challenged Hywel Dda on many occasions and met with the Chief Executive. I have attended the marches and done what I can for the voice of the people but I can’t see the benefit of handing over control to Cardiff.
“I would rather keep it with Hywel Dda and call them in when necessary. There is a plan in place that would bring children’s services back to Pembrokeshire and I suggest we monitor them closely.”

Cllr Dowson stated that a number of members had been concerned with what it would look like for the Council but said they should be concerned about how it looked to the people of the county.

He also called for a recorded vote but that was not supported.

Council Leader David Simpson said: “If the new hospital was built in Narberth it would be the best thing for my constituents, but that’s not what I want, what I want is for the hospital to be built, I don’t want downgrading of services. What we’ve got at the moment we want to keep.
“I don’t believe putting Hywel Dda in special measures will do us any good, it would be a backwards step.”

Cllr Paul Rapi said: “They are doing their best to put the wrongs right and the clinicians are taking on the role of taking forward the service.
“They are encouraging the type of people they need but they are not being encouraged down the M4 and that leaves us with shortages in the field. Special measures is not going to help, I think it would make the situation worse and have a negative effect.”

It was then put to the vote but a clear majority were against recommending that the Health Board be placed in special measures.


Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50



EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea



A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms



A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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