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“Call us and we’ll meet you there”, expectant mums will be told

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD is planning to make the Midwifery Led Unit at Withybush Hospital a retained service at night, meaning expectant mums will need to call their community mid wife and arrange to meet at the hospital.

The changes are expect to take place in November.

The move comes following a fall in the number of births in Pembrokeshire since consultant led services were moved from Withybush.

Last year, a total of 3,165 babies were delivered across the health board, with 142 of those being delivered at Withybush MLU.

This was a reduction from the 189 babies delivered at the unit in 2016, and the 160 babies delivered there in 2017.

The Health Board had originally denied that the unit, which opened in 2014, would become a day service with senior management saying that they expected no reduction in service for a unit which was expected to deliver 300 babies a year.

But the plans are no need for concern say the hospital. Keith Jones, Assistant Director of Acute Services said that he did not feel that the plans were a reduction of service for expectant mums in Pembrokeshire, confirming that Midwife Led Unit at Withybush Hospital will continue to be available to women 24 hours a day.

He told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Our proposals will allow us to deploy our midwives and support staff as effectively as possible, as the midwives currently based in the MLU will be expanded into an integrated community midwifery team.

“This will lead to improved continuity of care for women and their families throughout pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period and ensure that midwives’ time is fully utilised and matched with women’s needs.”

“Any women booked for Midwifery Led Care are continually risk assessed during their pregnancy and follow the All Wales Midwifery Led Care Guidelines and Pathways.

“The proposed model of care is well established throughout the UK both in rural and urban areas.

“Individual pathways of care are discussed with women during their pregnancy and issues such as geographical location, drive times and communications access are all considered.”

Speaking in March when rumours of the changes first started circulating, Local Assembly Member Paul Davies has responded furiously to reports that yet again Withybush Hospital will see services reduced.
He said: “If this is true then this is just another example of services at Withybush Hospital being downgraded.

“It will be yet another blow to the people of Pembrokeshire who have consistently opposed services being eroded at Withybush Hospital.

“If this takes place then it will put children’s and mothers’ lives at risk which is scandalous. The Hywel Dda University Health Board need to think again about any suggestion that services will be reduced at Withybush Hospital.

“In addition, the Welsh Government, who are ultimately responsible for health services in Wales, need to start standing up for the people of Pembrokeshire because they cannot continue to sit idly by as services continue to disappear from our hospital.”

Also, back in March, Keith Jones at the Health Board said: “Withybush Hospital Midwife Led Unit is open 24/7 and we have absolutely no plans to reduce the opening hours of this important service to the local population.

“We have been discussing the options to improve the efficiency of our staffing model by achieving a greater integration of our community-based midwives and staff based in the Midwife Led Unit.

“This will not reduce patient access to the Midwife Led Unit, which will remain open to women in Pembrokeshire 24/7.”

Stephen Crabb MP said: “Local people will be deeply dismayed by this latest development. Every appeal that has been made to Ministers at the Assembly to protect services in Pembrokeshire have come to nothing. Welsh Government in Cardiff has basically washed its hands of this issue and are sitting back while the Health Board does its dirty work of cutting local services.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Paul Davies Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire said – “Yet again the Hywel Dda University Health Board are planning to reduce services at Withybush Hospital. To suggest that changing from a 24/7 staffed unit to an on-call system overnight will give a better service is quite frankly beyond belief.

“Do the Health Board think the people of Pembrokeshire are stupid?

“An expectant mother does not want the worry of having to ring a midwife who then has to travel to Withybush Hospital if her baby is being born at night.

“40,000 people signed a petition against previous unwanted changes being proposed by the Health Board. They totally ignored this and are ploughing on with their plans to reduce Withybush Hospital to a Community Hospital against the will of the people of Pembrokeshire.”

The health board’s current proposals are simply the latest in a long string of attempts to continuously remove services at Withybush Hospital in recent years, and, to be perfectly frank, the local people are sick and tired of having to fight to maintain essential services at their local hospital.”

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head

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Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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