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Public force Board to listen



THERE was unrest at Thursday’s (Jan 22) Community Health Council engagement meeting as the public forced the Health Board to cut short their Hywel-Dda-Health-Boardpresentations.

Hywel Dda Chair Bernadine Rees spoke about ‘building a new relationship’ and ‘being open and transparent’ but over an hour had passed before the public got their say.

Community Director for Hywel Dda, Sue Lewis, was halfway through her presentation when when one member of the public got up and shouted: “You’re wasting my breath and I’ve been wasting my time,” before walking out.

Moments later, a woman spoke up saying: “This is a complete waste of time. You are like one of those foreign call centres, giving us a list of things that we don’t want to hear and you are ignoring what we want to say to you. You are proposing all these changes and you are here to consult but this is just a PR job. We know about the problems that exist but we are not getting the services we deserve. You have come here with an agenda and you have spoken for a very long time and it’s about time you let the public speak.”

That prompted applause from the 100-strong audience and Sue Lewis was forced to cut short her presentation.

Another member of the audience remarked that the Health Board were talking at them and not with them. She added: “We have come here to talk, not to be lectured.”

The Director of Public Health, Theresa Owen, had earlier spoken about leading an active lifestyle but another person added: “We want to know what is happening, we know not to smoke and drink. We came here to find out about the nitty gritty of our Health Board.”

One member of the public then went on to speak about the recruitment problems facing Hywel Dda saying: “How can you expect to employ people when they can’t be sure that the job they have is secure?”

Chief Executive Steve Moore responded and talked about a vibrant future for Withybush and added that they needed to assure people that they are putting quality and safety in to everything that they do. He also said that they were looking at bringing care closer to people who live in rural communities.

Another member later added: “In terms of recruitment, why are these people who are showing interest not getting the job?”

Speaking about the problems facing the ambulance service, one person said: “You treat us as if we don’t know. You can’t have an ambulance that goes to Swansea. You haven’t considered the miles they have to travel.”

The Head of Operations for Hywel Dda responded saying that they had considered the miles and also added that six ambulances are on duty in Pembrokeshire and that one of those would be a 24hr vehicle dedicated to Withybush.

Another member of the public talked about the beds in Withybush saying: “There were 384 beds in Withybush when it opened, there are now 120. That is a big bed drop. If you haven’t got a bed there is nowhere to put the patients and this is partly why the ambulance service are overworked.”

He went on to say that months were going by before posts were filled and added that it showed a lack of planning.

Finally he asked if they were aware that nurses were being asked to fill positions in which they were not qualified.

Bernadine Rees responded: “We are all here to protect and support safe and quality services in Pembrokeshire. We have to work together. Hywel Dda wants to be an employer of choice. We are supporting Pembrokeshire services and we want to work with all the groups.”

Another member of the public responded: “If it wasn’t for those groups (SWAT etc.) the public wouldn’t know. The Health Board haven’t been open and honest about what has happened. We need to see you being honest.”

Bernadine Rees responded: “Nobody is shying away from the fact that we need to change.”

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Five shouts in five days for Lifeboat crews at Angle



ITS BEEN a really busy week for the crews at Angle with their first tasking to the 39 meter 300 tonne tall ship on Monday evening with engine failure and taking on water.

Crews then paged again in the early hours of Wednesday morning to a 11 meter sailing catamaran becalmed and low on fuel.

The training day Thursday was interrupted just after 12:30 PM with a tasking to a tender with three people on board that had upturned just off St Brides Haven.

Little & Broad Haven Lifeboat was also tasked along with Dale Coastguard.

Little and Broad Haven Lifeboat reached the three casualties and took them to shore where they were passed into the care of Dale Coastguard. Angle Lifeboat was stood down as it was passing through Jack’s Sound.

As the Lifeboat was returning from the shout another tasking request came through. A tanker had spotted an unmanned RIB approximately 10 miles SW of St Ann’s Head. Once on scene, after some investigation the RIB was believed to have come from a mooring and no people were missing. The Lifeboat towed the RIB back to Angle.

The Lifeboat was rehoused shortly after 4:00 PM

The 5th shout for Angle Lifeboat this week.

This was a large multi agency search.

The crew were paged at 09:35 AM to assist Tenby Lifeboats RNLI ALB and inshore Lifeboats to search for a missing person in the water following a report from a fisherman on rocks near Manorbier that he had lost sight of a person that had been rowing a dinghy toward shore and the occupant may be in the water. HM Coastguard Tenby had also been tasked to the search

The dinghy was handed over to Tenby inshore lifeboat crew after being picked up by a Range Safety boat who then brought it into the awaiting police at Manorbier Beach.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 from St Athan and St Govans Coastguard Rescue Team had now also joined in the search for the missing person.

After several hours searching a man approached police at Manorbier, stating he’d been on the vessel off Manorbier, had got into difficulty and ended up in the water.

With the casualty now safely ashore, all units were stood down at 12:27PM.

Angle Lifeboat then headed to Tenby Harbour to pick up some sustenance, a fizzy drink and a chocolate brownie, before heading back to Angle and rehousing at 2:31PM. The lifeboat was refuelled and given a well earned wash ready for the next tasking.

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike



EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child



ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

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