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Withybush attracts new recruits



HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD has successfully recruited new nursing and medical staff at Withybush Hospital as part of itsnhs recruitment drive and support for the Haverfordwest hospital.

A recent recruitment day resulted in the appointment of 22 nurses across the Hywel Dda area, with four at Withybush Hospital. In addition, the UHB is attracting more interest from doctors in England, with one successful appointment to a consultant anaesthetist post at Withybush Hospital, due to start at the end of April.

Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to make a number of appointments at Withybush Hospital and, along with our ongoing work to develop new and attractive service models, hope this demonstrates to the people of Pembrokeshire our very real commitment to the hospital. I would also like to acknowledge and thank frontline staff who have worked so hard during this extremely busy period.”

Across Wales, demand for hospital services has been at an all-time high and Withybush Hospital has faced significant pressure since the start of the year, particularly for emergency unscheduled care.

The University Health Board has established a dedicated Programme Board to support the hospital and ensure its commitment to providing emergency and urgent care at the hospital 24 hours a day is fulfilled. This involves detailed discussions and actions by a wide range of staff from senior clinical leads, doctors and other healthcare professionals, managers, GP representatives and other partners.

Significant effort has been channelled into improving recruitment and retention of staff. As well as the nursing and anaesthetist appointments, the University Health Board is exploring new service models aimed at attracting new staff and retaining existing staff.

Agreement has been reached on creating two additional physician posts at Withybush Hospital, which will improve rota cover and hopefully attract more applicants. It has also been agreed to establish a Consultant Ortho-Geriatrician, to provide specific care tailored for older orthopaedic patients. The Programme Board is also exploring new models of care for emergency and inpatient services. One of these is around frail, older patients, to reduce the incidence of them having to wait in the Emergency Department

In addition, career pages have been developed on a number of social media sites to highlight vacancies to a wider pool of talent. Corporate web pages have been revamped to highlight key links to travel, housing and schooling, aimed at making transition easier for re-locating candidates.

Current posts being advertised for Withybush Hospital, and which can be found on NHS Jobs ( uk), include:

Trust CT medicine – an opportunity to gain experience in a modern busy general medicine unit in a rural setting with responsibility for patients on wards, clinical investigations, diagnosis and treatment of all patients admitted, including the maintaining of clinical notes and completion of discharge summaries

CT LAS emergency medicine – an opportunity for Junior Doctors wishing to gain experience in Emergency medicine or for those looking for a career in Emergency Medicine in a modern busy general medicine unit in a rural setting

Speciality Doctor General Medicine – we are looking for dynamic and motivated doctors to join our general medicine specialities including Care of the Elderly, Respiratory, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology Cardiology and Oncology

Trust CT General Surgery – an opportunity to gain experience in general surgery with responsibility for patients on wards, clinical investigations, diagnosis and treatment of all patients admitted, including the maintaining of clinical notes and completion of discharge summaries

Staff Nurse Gynaecology – we are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join our gynaecology outpatient department team. The gynaecology department is a busy unit providing a wide range of clinics and procedures, diagnostic and therapeutic. The Department has a friendly supportive environment, which is strongly focused on teamwork and patient care

Consultant Ortho-Geriatrician – the existing Elderly Medicine team contribute to the acute medical on call as well as the rehabilitation and assessment of patients. The post holder will develop within the Orthopaedic Department an acute service for the management of Hip Fractures, and a comprehensive rehabilitation service for all orthopaedic patients within the department

Staff nurse Outpatients – we have a vacancy within our busy Outpatient Departments based at Withybush Hospital and covering outpatient areas at both Tenby and South Pembrokeshire Hospitals

Chair Bernardine Rees said: “Withybush Hospital remains open 24-hours a day. We want to continue to work with our staff, public and stakeholders because all of us have the same desire – to protect provision of excellent NHS services here in Pembrokeshire and the rest of Hywel Dda.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms



A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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Pembrokeshire residents urged to take a virtual GP consultation when offered



PEMBROKESHIRE residents are being urged to take up the offer of a virtual consultation, over the phone or video call with their GP, to help Keep Wales Safe during the current lockdown ‘stay at home’ restrictions.

The way we access local NHS services is changing, with more ways in which you can consult your doctor or nurse. Most surgeries now offer telephone as well as electronic advice consultations in the first instance. Following your advice call, a face to face appointment may be organised, but video consultations are also available. You can now speak to a doctor or healthcare professional using the video camera in your smartphone, tablet or computer and a connection to the internet. This is often more convenient and can save you time, as you will not need to travel for a face-to-face appointment. The system used is confidential and secure.

In a recent YouGov survey carried out for the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign only 27% of residents in Mid and West Wales had made use of the GP virtual service over the past 12 months with just 57% having heard of the service. However, 88% believed it was important to have access to a remote GP consultation once they had learnt of its existence.

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long Term Care at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “If you are offered a video consultation appointment this is because your Health Care Professional has indicated that is it safe and appropriate to do so. Your video appointment will be confidential and will not be recorded. If you require support please contact your GP surgery using the number provided in the appointment confirmation.”

She continued: “By putting off small problems or regular appointments you could potentially be putting more strain on NHS emergency services so please, help us to help you, do not put anything off. Local GP surgeries are open and are there to offer medical advice and consult patients.”

After being offered a video consultation you will be sent a letter, email or text with details of your appointment. This communication will contain details of the service that has requested to see you by video and have provided a web address link. You can type or copy the web address link into a web browser via an internet enabled device and this will take you to the video clinic waiting area.

  • In order to access your virtual appointment, you will need:
  • Access to a device that will allow you to access the internet. You should use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser on a desktop or laptop, or on an Android tablet or smartphone or Safari web browser on an Apple iMac, MacBook, iPad, or iPhone.
  • Your device will need a webcam (camera), speakers and microphone.
  • A good internet connection (if you can watch a YouTube video, this is good indication that you have a good connection).
  • An internet usage plan that is sufficient to cover the data consumption of a video call – ideally use a Wi-Fi connection if you have this available.

Sixty two percent of those surveyed by YouGov in Mid and West Wales said they will continue to access NHS services using the new ways that have been introduced as a result of the pandemic. The new methods include making more use of pharmacists; virtual GP consultations and using the NHS 111 online and telephone services.

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‘Cautious optimism’ for county’s tourism sector – but clarity still needed



‘GIVE us clarity’ is the overriding message from the County’s tourism and hospitality businesses as the sector looks forward with cautious optimism to another busy season.

In a meeting hosted by Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb, thirty key local businesses were able to share their views with Paul Davies MS, Pembrokeshire County Council, the National Park and Visit Pembrokeshire.

The meeting focussed on the need for business support measures so long as uncertainty remains over the timetable for re-opening the economy in Wales.

Stephen Crabb said: “There is a lot of belief around that this summer will see another ‘staycation’ boom so long as the vaccination programme continues to make good progress and infection rates fall. Pembrokeshire has had a lot of national media coverage in recent months and could experience a bumper season but it’s crucial we get the re-opening right. There is a clear need for some kind of timetable to help businesses prepare appropriately and for clear rules to avoid confusion and contradictory messages.”

Paul Davies said: “It was a pleasure to hear from tourism businesses across Pembrokeshire about some of the challenges that they’re currently facing. The message was pretty clear – they want clarity from the Welsh Government and some timescales by which they can start to plan for reopening. I’ll certainly be taking back the concerns highlighted during the meeting and raising them with Welsh Government Ministers at the Senedd.”

Emma Thornton from Visit Pembrokeshire added: “Great to attend the Hospitality and Tourism Round table event today and to have the opportunity to discuss the ongoing challenges our industry faces over the coming months but also to share a collective optimism for what we believe will be a really strong year for tourism in Pembrokeshire when we are able to reopen and welcome our visitors back.

“Visit Pembrokeshire as the new Destination Management (DMO) for Pembrokeshire will be working closely with local stakeholders and businesses to help realise this opportunity in a sustainable and responsible way mindful of protecting what makes our beautiful county so special”

Stephen Crabb: Wants clarity for tourism businesses

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