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Top cancer doc quits

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THE PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD can reveal that Dr Anne Barnes MBE has quit her post at Withybush Hospital following a dispute
with the Local Health Board. 

Sources close to Ward 10 have told this newspaper that Dr Barnes, awarded the MBE for her services to cancer patients in Pembrokeshire, walked outdocterlast Friday (Jan 30), having become frustrated with what she perceived as the Health Board’s failure to deliver on assurances given previously to her.

Dr Barnes had agreed to come out of retirement to ‘hold the fort’ at Withybush Hospital while the Board made permanent arrangements for specialist staff cover at the ward. It is understood that Dr Barnes became dissatisfied with the arrangements the Board had put in place and was not prepared to continue in the circumstances in which she found herself.

One current staff member told us: “I know that after all the reassurances that Ward 10 would remain dedicated to palliative care and cancer patients, it is now a general medical ward. This means that non-specialist consultants have control of patients’ admissions and treatment.” Dr Barnes told us: “When I put in my notice of retirement, the Health Board had made no successor arrangements.

They asked me to return to set up a full-time acute oncology service. I accepted the challenge to keep the service going. I was asked to extend my contract from December to the end of January. I said I was prepared to do so under certain conditions, which were not met. I went back to work last month to work to its end, but no progress was made.

I was left unable to admit patients and had no junior doctors to work with.” She continued: “I was asked to extend that contract beyond the end of January. I had no written contract. As I felt the Board was not giving me the facilities to provide a good standard service, I decided to leave. I told them on January 20 that I was leaving. The Board told me they wanted me to work notice of a month, but at that stage my fixed term contract ending December 31 was already over.

“Yesterday (Feb 4), I received a letter dated January 30, asking me to sign an extension to my contract!” Dr Barnes concluded: “I feel very upset about the situation. I wanted to try but my feeling is that I cannot come to an agreement with the Health Board that would enable me to deliver the level of service which I consider to be of an acceptable standard.

I prefer, therefore, to leave the service and hope that the Board is able to find a replacement.” Dr Sian Lewis Acute Services Clinical Director and Consultant in Haematology told The Herald: “Dr Barnes has this week withdrawn from the part-time post in oncology and palliative care. The service model introduced six months ago is unaffected by this and patients will continue to receive oncology, palliative care and chemotherapy services at Withybush Hospital, from a team of doctors and nurses, as they do now.”

 

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Port boss: Pembroke Dock development full permission an ‘important step’

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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Port of Milford Haven has welcomed a decision of “non-intervention” by the Welsh Government over plans to re-vamp Pembroke Dock’s historic port facilities.

The redevelopment scheme, approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee in May, will see some areas such as a dock covered with sand and “infilled”.

Plans also include the demolishing of some buildings, erection of buildings and ancillary works.
Despite planning being granted at council level, full authorisation to go ahead with the development was not to be issued until the Welsh Government made its decision regards the matter.

More about the planning application can be read here: https://www.herald.wales/west-wales/pembrokeshire/major-marine-project-causes-concern-about-visual-impact-and-heritage-loss/

Now that the Welsh Government has decided not to interfere with Pembrokeshire County Council’s grant of planning permission, the Port’s boss, Andy Jones, expressed his delight, saying: “This marks an important step forward in the development of Wales’ clean energy centre at Pembroke Dock.

“It will provide sustainable opportunities for the many people who rely on the activity along the Milford Haven Waterway for employment.

CEO: Port Authority’s Andy Jones (Pic MHPA)

“Pembroke Dock Marine will unlock new opportunities for young people to enter the maritime, renewable and engineering sectors, build resilience within Pembrokeshire’s business community, and make a positive contribution to our natural environment as we transition to a low carbon energy generation.”

Tim James, head of commercial and energy at the Port of Milford Haven called the project a “once in a generation opportunity to improve Pembrokeshire’s economy for years to come”.

Objectors had complained that the plans were too large and would damage the historic dockyard, as well as having a visual impact on the dock.

The was opposition from local heritage campaigners, with complaints over the size of two huge proposed hangars which the project’s critics said would impact adversely the landscape.

The economic benefits of the £60 million marine energy “far outweigh” any impact on the historic environment, a report earlier this year to council planners said.

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Medical evacuation from LPG tanker off St Ann’s Head

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ANGLE Lifeboat was launched on service at 12:59pm on Thursday afternoon (Jun 10) to assist in a medical evacuation from a LPG tanker 13 miles SSW off St Ann’s Head.

The coastguard helicopter from Newquay in Cornwall was also on route. With the poor visibility due to fog, Angle all-weather lifeboat was to stand by the vessel to provide an alternative route for evacuation if needed.

After a choppy route in the poor visibility the RNLI volunteers arrived on scene at 2:07pm.

At the time of their arrival, the paramedic from the coastguard helicopter was aboard the vessel preparing the casualty to be winched to the helicopter.

In less than ten minutes the casualty was winched up to the helicopter and flown to hospital, at which point the lifeboat and crews were stood down and headed back to the station.

After rehousing shortly after 3:30pm the lifeboat was washed fuelled and made ready for service shortly after.

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Milford Haven child sex offender Colin Sharpe jailed for 10 years

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A MILFORD HAVEN child abuser sat crying in court as details of his four-year long abuse of a schoolgirl were read out.

Colin Sharpe’s teenage victim says she is now “plagued by nightmares” that he will return and abuse her again, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Sharpe, 40, of Howarth Close was told by Judge Paul Thomas QC at Swansea Crown Court that “Your only concern was your own selfish sexual pleasure.”

The court heard that after the matter was reported to police and officers began a search for tSharpe. He was found in his vehicle in a car park at St Ann’s Head.

The court was told that police used their car to block Sharpe’s exist from the car park but he “sped off” across the grass towards the cliff edge before crashing into a fence.

The defendant abandoned his vehicle and made off on foot to the clifftop. A standoff then developed during which police brought in a specialist negotiator to talk him down.

After a lengthy negotiation Sharpe was arrested.

Passing sentence, the judge told Sharpe: “You had no concern for the psychological damage you did.”

He added: “But it is to your credit that you immediately admitted what you had done; this had saved his victim the further ordeal of giving evidence in a trial.

Judge Paul Thomas jailed Sharpe for 10 years and imposed an indefinite order requiring him to sign the sexual offences register on release.

Sharpe will now be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and an indefinite restraining order when he is released.

As The Herald previously reported, Sharpe, who has been on remand since March, admitted one charge of sexual assault and five of sexual activity with a child, all between July 2017 and March 2021.

Police were informed about the sexual abuse by a third party, who discovered what he had done, and he was arrested and questioned early last year.

Earlier, Ian Wright, counsel for the CPS said that Sharpe used “emotional blackmail to frighten the girl into staying silent”.

He added “Matters seem to have come to a head on March 12 this year after Sharpe had once again sexually abused his victim.”

Dean Pulling, defending, said that when the police interviewed Sharpe he gave ‘guilty pleas and admissions’ at the earliest opportunity.

Excerpts from a personal victim statement highlighting the ongoing ordeal of Sharpe’s teenage victim were also read out in court.

“I am having nightmares,” the statement reads.

“I have nightmares of him coming back from prison and starting to do worse. My life has been greatly affected.”

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