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Field hospitals open in Pembrokeshire and Llanelli as Covid-19 cases rise

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COVID-19 step-down patients will be among the first to be admitted to new field hospitals, Hywel Dda University Health Board has announced this week.

Step-down beds provide an intermediate level of care for patients with requirements somewhere between that of the general ward and the intensive care unit.

The move by the health boards comes as part of our ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The strategy involves around 30 beds being opened at both the Ysbyty Enfys Selwyn Samuel in Llanelli and at Ysbyty Enfys Carreg Las in Pembrokeshire for non-Covid patients from mid-November, which will allow the health board to better manage patient capacity and flow in our acute hospital sites.

The patients – who will be cared for by an experienced multiprofessional team including nurses, therapists and patient liaison officers – have been assessed as no longer needing medical input, but still require some care before being discharged home or to a community care facility.

Field hospitals have been established in each of the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire as a precautionary measure to enable the NHS to respond to the current COVID pandemic. Over the summer a small number of patients were admitted to the facility in Carmarthen as part of a pilot of the service, which has helped to inform how we use these sites safely and appropriately.

*Please note – none of these hospitals have emergency departments or any other walk-in service and should not be accessed by members of our community. Visiting is restricted as per all other hospitals but health care staff can help connect patients and their families, carers and friends.

Dr Meinir Jones, clinical lead for the field hospitals and transformation, explained: “From the outset we have committed to using these field hospitals flexibly based on the demand experienced as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and this activity together with our normal unscheduled care activity has reached the level at which we agreed we would need additional capacity from the field hospitals.

“This level was set according to several considerations including the need to have the capacity to admit COVID patients to the main acute hospitals in line with demand across the system, being able to have the right number of patients to adhere to current infection prevention measures and new clinical guidelines, and to safely reinstate some other urgent and critical planned procedures for our patients.”

Staffing for the facilities has been made possible thanks to the flexibility of current health care staff in Hywel Dda, some of whom are temporarily working in different roles or increased hours; as well previous members of staff returning to work and additional recruitment.

Dr Jones added: “Opening up these two hospitals will release some capacity in our acute sites and support the reinstating of other urgent planned procedures. We are acutely aware of the impact postponements have had on patients and their quality of life.”

All of our field hospitals are available to respond quickly and flexibly should there be a need. Acute hospitals, due to their intensive care capacity, access to theatres and supplies such as oxygen, and the support network around the hospital, are best placed to deal with patients who need more acute medical intervention and so will continue to be the primary sites for acutely unwell patients (both COVID and non-COVID).

Andrew Carruthers, Director of Operations at Hywel Dda UHB said: “Central to our development of the field hospitals has been the flexibility they could allow us to be able to manage capacity and overall demand throughout this pandemic.

“COVID unfortunately is not going to simply go away, and so we need to base our plans not just on how we manage COVID patients, but also how we can restart other services and provide continuity of care across the system.

“Both our planning and delivery is and will continue to be based on national and local clinical advice and with the ultimate objective of keeping our population as safe as possible when they need to access our services for care.”

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Paul Sartori taking action to support climate with National Lottery grant of nearly £14,000

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LOCAL hospice at home charity, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, is taking action to support the climate with the installation of solar panels at its main head office in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

The charity which delivers end of life care services across Pembrokeshire, has been awarded a grant to fund the purchase and installation of solar panels at Paul Sartori House, Winch Lane. This investment is part of an ongoing commitment to address the climate emergency and the charity joins many others who are taking action. Paul Sartori was one of 35 community groups, who were selected to take part in the Climate Action Boost scheme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Working alongside Renew Wales, a partner in the initiative, the group explored methods to help tackle the causes and consequences of climate change, and to operate more sustainably. A number of options were discussed to reduce their impact on the environment and Renew Wales helped the charity to develop an environmental action plan, which is to be implemented over the coming months. The scheme available to cover a variety of environmental reduction activities, including renewable energy, reducing consumption, local food and reduced or less impactful travel.

Paul Sartori Hospice at Home wouldn’t normally be associated with environmental activity. Through regular consultation over many months, the charity has been really encouraged by what they have learnt.

“We have invested a lot of time in developing the plan; discussed a number of alternatives along the way, but feel that the solar panel installation will have the biggest impact for the charity in the long term”, said Sandra Dade, Charity Manager. “The National Lottery Climate Action Boost has really inspired our charity to minimise our impacton the environment and we will continue this journey,” added Sandra.

Jemma Nurse, Funding Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund said, “The climate emergency is everyone’s business, which is why The National Lottery Community Fund is acting to support and inspire communities to minimise their own impact on the environment. We are proud to be a significant funder of environmental projects and Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, along with the other groups participating in Climate Action Boost, will play a valuable part in building our knowledge so we can share our learning with other funders across Wales and the UK.”

The services provided by the Paul Sartori Hospice at Home enable people in the later stages of any life-limiting illness to be cared for and to die at home with dignity, independence, pain free and surrounded by those they hold most dear, if that is their wish.

All of the services are free of charge, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, thanks to the generosity of the Pembrokeshire Community. Further information on the charity and its services can be obtained by visiting their website www.paulsartori.org, or by phoning 01437 763223.

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New nursing service to support carers of people living with dementia

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD, in partnership with Dementia UK, is launching a new nursing service to support carers of people living with dementia.

The Admiral Nurse service will be a significant addition to the current support available to people living with dementia and their carers. The initiative is in line with the Dementia Action Plan for Wales 2018-2022, a Welsh Government strategy that aims to recognise the rights of people with dementia, make them feel valued, and help them live as independently as possible in their communities.

The team will cover Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire with a focus on delivering person–centred and relationship-centred dementia care. The Admiral Nurses will work collaboratively in a family-centric manner, across health and social care pathways, to provide support, expert guidance & practical solutions to enable families/carers, including the person living with dementia, to maximise their wellbeing and improve the experience of those affected by dementia.

Dementia UK is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting families affected by dementia through dementia specialist Admiral Nurses.  When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them, giving the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions that can be difficult to find elsewhere. They are a lifeline, helping families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.  

The service launched on 29th March 2021 and is now accepting referrals.

Charlotte Duhig, Admiral Nurse Clinical Lead, said: “I am honoured to be leading this new service to support carers and families of people living with dementia across the counties served by Hywel Dda University Health Board. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for people living with dementia and their carers but I’m confident that this much-needed service will make a difference to the lives of those affected by dementia.

“Having previously set up an Admiral Nurse Service, I know the benefit of working as an Admiral Nurse as families can get the emotional and practical support to allow them to plan for the future. Health and social care professionals can also take advantage of our in-depth knowledge of dementia.”

Dr Hilda Hayo, CEO and Chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK, says: “We are delighted to announce this new Admiral Nurse service in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board. The fact that this service extends to a large rural area within West Wales, with the support of two Welsh-speaking Admiral Nurses, means that we are improving access to dementia specialist support for families.”            

To be able to access this service, the following referral criteria applies:

  • The person being supported/cared for by the carer has a diagnosis (or likely diagnosis) of dementia.
  • The person with dementia and/or carer lives in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire (or is registered with a GP in those areas).
  • The carer agrees to their referral to the Admiral Nurse
  • The carer should have identified need(s) that impact upon their caring role or as a consequence of their caring role*

If you are a health or social care professional or 3rd sector working with someone you believe this service could benefit, or you are a carer of someone living with dementia and would like to be referred to the service, please contact a health or social care professional who can refer you. 

For further information, contact the nursing team direct:

Clinical Lead: Charlotte.Duhig@wales.nhs.uk

Admiral NurseContact detailsLocality covered
Bethan BulmanBethan.Bulman@wales.nhs.ukCeredigion North
Donna Phillips Ceredigion South
Emma VenablesEmma.Venables@wales.nhs.ukPembrokeshire North
Rosie BellRosie.Bell@wales.nhs.ukPembrokeshire South
Siriol DyerSiriol.Dyer2@wales.nhs.ukCarmarthenshire (3Ts)
Liz WrightElizabeth.Wright@wales.nhs.ukCarmarthenshire (Amman Gwendraeth)
Donna OwensDonna.Owens2@wales.nhs.ukCarmarthenshire (Llanelli)
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Police looking for a couple with a dog after teenage girl bitten in Haverfordwest

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POLICE hunting for the owners of a ‘pitbull’ type dog which bit a teenage girl in Haverfordwest last month.

Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating an incident which occurred at about 6.15pm on Tuesday 6th April 2021.

As two teenage girls were walking along Barn Street, Haverfordwest a dog has bitten one of the girls leaving visible marks and bruising.

The dog was accompanied by a man and a woman, both described as approximately 30 years old. 

The man is described as white, bald, a jaw line beard, big build wearing camouflage trousers and a jumper.

The woman is described as white, with black hair, medium to large build and shorter than the man she was with.

Their dog is described as a pitbull type dog, ginger in colour with black markings.

Anyone who has witnessed the incident or anyone who has information that could help the investigation is asked to contact PC David Norman 227 by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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