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Crabb attacks cancer drugs policy

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Out of excuses: Welsh Secretary attacks Welsh Labour Government

PEMBROKESHIRE MP, and Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb, has criticised the Welsh Labour Government for not introducing a Cancer Drugs Fund in Wales, after the UK Labour Party committed to introduce similar funding in England should they win the General Election in May. The UK Government introduced the existing Cancer Drugs Fund in England in 2010. Commenting, Mr Crabb said: “The Welsh Labour Government are all out of excuses for not implementing a Cancer Drugs Fund in Wales.

The CDF has had a truly positive impact on the lives of 66,000 cancer sufferers in England. “That’s why the UK Labour Party have signed up to it and it’s why 97,000 people signed a petition calling for one in Wales, including many people from Pembrokeshire. It is now time for Welsh Labour representatives in our County to call on their colleagues in the Assembly to bring this policy to Wales.

“The Welsh Government received an additional £123m in the Autumn Statement last week. This is enough to pay for a Welsh Cancer Drugs Fund several times over and so there is no excuse for denying people in Pembrokeshire and across Wales these life-saving drugs that are available across the border in England.”

The Herald contacted the Welsh Labour Assembly and received this exclusive response, as a spokesperson said: “We have no plans to introduce a cancer drugs fund in Wales. Even England is now reconsidering if some drugs currently available through its cancer drugs fund should be removed from the list due to rising costs. “A cancer drugs fund undermines the established system for the assessment of medicines for use in the NHS in Wales.

The fund’s own chairman has admitted that it has provided funding for cancer drugs which have ‘no impact on survival’ and ‘uncertainty as to whether quality of life is improved or not’. The spokesperson claimed that the Welsh Labour Assembly spends more per head on cancer than in England and a report in the highly-respected British Journal of Cancer shows Wales has a faster uptake of the drugs most recently launched and recommended by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and that satisfaction rates with cancer services in Wales are extremely high and survival rates are rising faster than in other parts of the UK.

The spokesperson added: “We believe patients should receive costeffective and evidence-based treatment and care to meet their clinical needs. To do that, the NHS is guided by recommendations from NICE and the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group, which make decisions based on evidence, input from clinicians, health professionals and patients.”

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Tenby: Air Ambulance medivac patient with suspected broken leg

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PARAMEDICS asked for assistance, and the Wales Air Ambulance were subsequently tasked with tending to an incident at Tenby harbour on Sunday (Oct 2).

A male required assistance due to a fall around the beach area, and suffered a suspected broken leg.

A spokesperson for the air ambulance said: “Our overnight crew arrived on scene at 8.12 pm.

“Following treatment at the scene from our on-board medics, we airlifted the patient to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Our involvement concluded at 10.31 pm.”

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Cleddau Bridge was closed due to concerns over person in distress

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THE CLEDDAU BRIDGE was closed just after midnight on Sunday morning after reports of concern over a person in distress.

A number of police units attended the incident, and an ambulance was put on standby, but thankfully was not needed. The bridge was closed for around a hour, with a diversion put in place.

Nearby residents noted the flashing lights from multiple emergency services on the bridge and posted statuses on Facebook wishing for the person’s safety.

Some other witnesses on the Pembroke Dock side of the estuary noted activity in the water from small vessels in the area under the bridge, which they believed may have been boats put on standby.

In a statement a spokesperson from the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called in the early hours of Sunday morning at 12:43am to reports of an incident on the A477, Cleddau Bridge.

“We sent one emergency ambulance but were subsequently stood down.”

At just after 1am Sunday the police posted the following on their official Facebook page, confirming that the incident was over: “Cleddau Bridge has now reopened. Thank you for your patience.”

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Thirty bags of cocaine – worth £90m – wash up on west Wales beach

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has confirmed that what is expected to be a large quantity of the class A drug cocaine has washed up on on a west Wales beach this weekend.

The Herald understands that a man walking on Tan-y-Bwlch beach, south of Aberystwyth, made the discovery early on Saturday morning – which at street value could be sold for as much as £90m.

The beach walker found 30 black bags on the sand which had been tied together with a rope and empty gallon jerry cans for buoyancy.

Inside each black bag were 30 x1kg blocks, labelled with the name of fashion brand Dior – the mark of a Latin-American cartel – indicating 100% purity.

A similar brick of cocaine confiscated in Australia (File)

Thinking the package was suspicious, the man called the police.

When the police arrived, one of the bags was cut open and inside was what appeared to be cocaine.

The suspected cocaine was then taken away by officers, and it has now been confirmed that the white powder inside the bags is believed to be cocaine.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We are investigating the discovery of a significant quantity of what is thought to be cocaine, spotted along the Ceredigion coast this weekend.

“Enquiries are being undertaken to establish how such an unusually large amount of the controlled drug came to wash up on the Welsh shore, following recent storms.

“The precise quantity is still being established and at this time no-one has been arrested in relation to this matter. Officers have thanked those who found the packages and their sensible actions in reporting the matter immediately.”

No arrests have been made.

The UK’s cocaine market is estimated to be worth more than £25.7 million daily, according to the National Crime Agency’s latest strategic threat assessment.

Figures released by the agency earlier this year revealed how cocaine seizures nationwide have soared by 161 per cent between early 2020 and early last year.

A suspected £90million haul of cocaine was found on beach
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