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Council to examine coroners report on tragic death of Derek Brundrett

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL will examine the detailed findings and conclusions made by the assistant coroner who led the investigation into the tragic death of Derek Brundrett.

Derek sadly passed away in December 2013 after two attempts to refer him to mental health services had failed.

The Assistant Coroner for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire conluded that he intended to take his own life.

A 35-page report of findings and conclusions were made by the Coroner and the Council have said they will examine them to see what lessons can be learnt.

Cllr Josh Beynon asked at last Thursday’s (Feb 21) Full Council meeting, what steps had and would be taken to avoid another tragedy.

Cabinet member for Social Services, Cllr Tessa Hodgson expressed her sympathies and condolences to Derek’s family and gave details of a number of support services that can be accessed by
young people and school-based staff.

Supporting his question, Cllr Beynon wrote: “On (19/02/2019), the inquest into the tragic death of Derek David Brundrett formally concluded in which the assistant coroner for

Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, Mr Paul Bennett stated his narrative conclusion in the case as the following: “That Derek David Brundrett took his own life and intended to do so in
circumstances where despite efforts to refer him for psychiatric support, there was a failure to do so. There was a failure to refer by a social worker following a CPC on 12th June 2013; there was a failure by a General Practitioner to provide additional information when the referrals of the 2012 and 2013 were declined; there was a failure to provide the relevant information on the appropriate referral for relevant to a Looked After Child when the social worker seconded to SCAHMS spoke to Derek’s social worker. His death was in the context that on

November 25, 2013 he had been returned to foster care and was concerned about a return to the pupil referral unit”

Cllr Beynon asked: “Can Pembrokeshire County Council outline what steps they have and will be taking to ensure that they are doing everything possible to avoid another tragedy like this?”

Cllr Hodgson said: “The death of a child is a profound loss and I’m sure that I speak for everyone in this room and all the professionals involved in this tragedy in expressing my great sympathy to Derek’s family and friends.

“I would like to repeat and re-state our sincere condolences to them at this difficult and sad time.

“Derek’s loss is deeply felt by those individuals who had formed close and caring relationships with him. We have thanked the coroner for his thorough investigation and consideration of the case which has taken just over four years to resolve. The inquest hearing itself lasted approximately 16 months. On Tuesday, the assistant coroner for Pembrokeshire delivered a detailed findings and conclusions of over 35 pages.

“We are now considering the issues arising from the decision and what lessons can be learned from the process and what actions can be taken to ensure the safeguard and well-being of all children and young people served by this council.

“The actions will be considered at the earliest opportunity by our local safeguarding group, the Mid and west Wales Safeguarding board, which are both multi-agency, and also it will be discussed at our whole authority safeguarding group.

“The director of education has also provided me with a summary of the support we currently offer to pupils in our schools and this includes a range of support for pupils with mental health issues including the advice and support of a link education psychologist, one to one counselling as well as access to a range of specialist emotional health nurses and therapists through a dedicated emotional health and well-being team.

“In addition the recently introduced early intervention emotional health and well-being panel offers pupils access to a wide range of services to help build emotional resilience.

“Suicide prevention and self-harm training, co-ordinated by the local authority in partnership with the Health Board and designed and delivered by specialist primary mental health nurses, is also offered to all school-based staff. Schools also access advice around mental health issues from the Health Boards’ Primary mental health nurses.”

Cllr Beynon thanked the chair for allowing the late question and Cllr Hodgson for her response, asking if a report could go to scrutiny when ready.

Cllr Hodgson said she was happy to support that.

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements

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PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident

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POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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