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What safety net?

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ambulanceTHE REVELATION of the extent of the Welsh Ambulance Service crisis could not come at a worse time for the local health board. 

Having scrapped SCBU and a consultant-led obstetric service and replaced it with a 24/7 dedicated ambulance, the Herald revealed two weeks ago that an advert for staff to crew the vehicle did not expire until after the service at Withybush had been removed. The Herald understands that despite Freemasons providing a specialist transport pod for babies to Withybush Hospital, that equipment has been commandeered for use at Glangwili.

As a result, Pembrokeshire neonates and infants travelling to Glangwili in an emergency will be reliant upon a heated mattress. A standard specification ambulance does not carry the equipment a sick neonate requires. To transport a sick neonate or baby needs specialised transport from the ground up. The ambulance must have the floor attachments to secure 200kg of neonatal transport incubator. All of the equipment must be the size for a neonate. While paramedics will do their best they are not a specialist neonatal transport nurse, of which two are required. Safe in the knowledge that the summer recess was coming, Health Minister Mark Drakeford claimed a robust safety net would be in place to ensure patient safety.

Mr Drakeford has avoided scrutiny for now, but is sure to face questions on how the Board persuaded the government that an understaffed and under-resourced service was either safe or robust. He will hardly need reminding that any mishap or tragedy will be laid firmly at his door. It also appears that despite repeated assurances that mothers will not have to travel outside the health board area to deliver their babies, and in spite of planning the closure of SCBU at Withybush for years, facilities are still not ready at Glangwili.

The Pembrokeshire Herald has been contacted by Martin McGeown, whose wife Bianca is expecting twins, a boy and a girl: “We have had a few complications with the little boy so we were back and forth to Cardiff. We are now in Singleton, Swansea. No cots were available at Carmarthen and we were sent to Bridgend hospital on Friday. “I then drove at 12 at night with Bianca down to Swansea as a bed become available. We were told if no cots were available in Wales we would have had to go to Birmingham that day.

“I’m so sad about our hospital and my heart is with all the midwives who have been treated so badly. I hope we can do something about this, as you don’t realise until it happens to one of you “Me and my family have been pulled from pillar to post not knowing were our children would be born. Swansea Singleton are amazing but deep down it should have been at Withybush. “This is not going to get better and has to be sorted.” Commenting on the closure this week of the Special Care Baby Unit at Withybush Hospital, MP Stephen Crabb said: “I was deeply disappointed to see SCBU close this week. Pembrokeshire residents have fought long and hard to retain this vital service but the Welsh Labour Health Minister has pushed on regardless.”

“I have discussed these changes with both the Health Board and the Welsh Health Minister. At no point have I been reassured about the apparent safety-nets planned to deal with emergencies in future. We do not know if these are even operational. With SCBU now closed, this is a damning indictment of Welsh Labour’s health policy.” “People are right to be concerned. Even if the A40 is free from problems, Welsh ambulance response time targets have been missed year after year. Already this week we have seen reports of police cars across Wales transporting patients to hospital because ambulances are not available.” “I have written again to the Welsh Health Minister voicing my concerns. Pembrokeshire residents deserve, at the very least, to be given assurances that adequate plans are in place for dealing with emergency cases.”

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1 Comment

  1. Tomos

    September 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Freemasons helping out? Are they feeling guilty?

    they are part of the problem NOT part of the solution – giving jobs to the boyos in all areas of public life (and protecting the bad from publicity,from arrest and prosecution) )rather than those best suited have helped wales go down the toilet! 🙁

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Pembroke: Leave teenage girls alone, sex offender told

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A SEX OFFENDER from Ashdale Lane, Pembroke has been jailed for repeatedly ignoring court orders which were put in place to protect young girls.
Gareth Thomas James Flynn, aged 41, frightened a 14-year-old girl who refused to get off a bus in case he managed to find out where she lived.
41-year-old Gareth Thomas James Flynn scared a 14-year-old girl because she refused to get of a bus, frightened he would learn her address.
He admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was jailed today for a year.
Sitting at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Geraint Walters berated the defendant.  His Honour said that Flynn had shown a complete disregard for the original SHPO.
The judge said: “Leave teenage girls alone. They are scared of you”
He told Flynn he would be on licence for 12 months after his release from prison, and he reminded him that the SHPO remained in place.

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Narberth: ‘My mum’s camper was stolen and found burned out down the road’

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A CAMPER VAN stolen on Thursday night in Narberth was found burned a short distance from where it was parked, the owner’s son has said.

Zachary Bunce posted an appeal on Facebook on Friday morning saying: “Can every single one of my friends please share this my mother’s Ford transit campervan was stolen last night in the Narberth area can people please be on the lookout for this van as my mother is completely heartbroken.”

But three hours later he updated the post to say: “Thank you everyone who shared, sadly my mums van was driven 1.3 miles down the road and driven into a ditch and burnt it out.

Mr Bunce has said on that the incident has been captured on CCTV, and took place at 2.10am in the morning (Jan 24).
Anyone with any information should contact the police on 101.

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Hook: Police and school confirm death of boy, 13

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POLICE are investigating the sudden death of a 13-year-old boy from Hook on Wednesday (Jan 22)

A police spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy, from the Hook area of Pembrokeshire.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time. Next of kin have been advised and are being supported.”

A letter was sent out to parents and carers by Haverfordwest High VC School headteacher Jane Harries following the death. The letter reads: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you about the sudden death of a year nine pupil at our school.

“The children in Year nine were told this morning by myself and other pupils were told by their teachers during their lesson this afternoon. The full detail surrounding the death are not known at this stage – but children have been reassured that this is something that does not happen very often. Your child may or may not want to talk bout it, but it is likely that he/she will need your special care, attention and reassurance at this difficult time.

“We are deeply affected by the death, but we are trying, for the children’s sake, to keep the school as normal as possible over the coming days, whilst allowing the children opportunities to talk about the pupil if they wish to. Trained support staff and counsellors are helping to support us through this difficult time. If you feel that your child needs extra support, please let us know.

“Our thoughts are with the pupil’s family at this difficult time, and the whole school community sends them our sincerest sympathy and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s achievement leader, or Miss Thomas, pastoral support manager. Paul Lucas, chairman of the governing body at Haverfordwest High VC School, said: “The governors are shocked at the tragic loss of this young student. The family are in our thoughts at this very sad time.”

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