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Health services reviewed

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A much-loved and valued service: South Pembs Hospital

A much-loved and valued service: South Pembs Hospital

The Health Board has announced that it is to review the care and support provided from South Pembrokeshire Hospital in the New Year. Along with Pembrokeshire County Council, it will consider whether any improvements or changes are required to meet patient and customer need. The review will consider services and activity that is jointly funded and talk to staff, patients, partners and stakeholders about their needs and ideas about future service provision.

It will include a comprehensive review of: day care and rehabilitation/ reablement for adults, including therapy input inpatient services which include 35 health and 5 social beds support services including administration, estates, hotel services, transport accommodation space for health and social care staff and provision within the area for visiting services Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive of the Health Board Joe Teape explained: “We know that South Pembrokeshire Hospital Health & Social Care Resource Centre is a much loved and valued service within the local community. It’s really important that we take a careful look at the service model in the facility to ensure it is best meeting need and is having a positive impact for patients, including their outcomes and their experience of care.

“We also can’t ignore the external environment we are working within in health and social care and the future demographics of our population. This makes it really important to ensure our services are sustainable and make the best use of our resources for maximum patient benefit.” The review will consider what current service models are like and how they are performing, consider if there is potential for change and look at alternative models of care, and agree how the University Health Board and Local Authority can continue to work together on areas of mutual benefit. The review will include discussion with staff, service users and wider patient representatives through the Community Health Council.

The review will also consider impact of changes in relation to policy, fair charging and the impact of the forthcoming Social Services and Well Being Wales Act. Mr Teape stressed: “At this stage we are not consulting on any service change, but rather taking a close and prudent look at our services to ensure they are working in the best interests of our patients and population and to consider any potential changes and improvements that could be made.

We want to do this with our patients, staff and partners using the principles of co-production and options to ensure that models are inclusive and the right solutions for this particular locality and Pembrokeshire.” A project group has been established , with representation from doctors, therapists, medicines management, health and social care management, finance, human resources, estates, third sector providers, wider staff representation and invited representation from Hywel Dda Community Health Council Pam Marsden, Director of Social Services and Leisure for Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “As a Local Authority we are working closely with the Health Board. We want to ensure services continue to improve, are value for money and meet need. Both agencies need to make the best use of resources. We are looking forward to hearing from all stakeholders about this important facility.”

The Health Board and Local Authority will be arranging a series of stakeholder meetings and regular meetings with staff and will produce regular briefings for all parties. Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Simon Thomas has appealed to hospital users to give their views during a review of the South Pembrokeshire Hospital in Pembroke Dock. Mid and West AM Simon Thomas said: “I’m urging people to make their views known during the review. The Pembroke Dock site is valued locally. “The Party of Wales welcomes the health board and Pembrokeshire Council working together – joint working is something we have promoted in the National Assembly.

“In a deal with the Welsh Government Plaid Cymru secured £8million for an Intermediate Care Fund for the region. It was designed to alleviate some of the problems within the emergency care system by providing alternatives to hospitalisation and support independent living. Ultimately we want health and social services to come together.” Speaking in Pembroke Dock, Marc Tierney said: “The review of South Pembrokeshire hospital is unexpected. “I have visited the hospital and know local people who have accessed care up on Fort Road. We have already experienced the loss of the Minor Injuries Unit which added to the local GP caseload and forced other to seek treatment at Withybush with patients needing to pay bridge tolls and additional fuel costs.”

Mr Tierney continued: “The local authority budget is under pressure and Pembrokeshire Council is looking at all angles to reduce costs. So a review on doing things better isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But the facts speak for themselves – our population is aging, patient needs are increasingly complex and Tory austerity is strangling public service spending. “I can see real benefits in bringing health and social care together and working more closely with the third sector to support people makes sense. The PIVOT scheme has already proven this in Pembrokeshire.” Mr Tierney urged residents to respond to the Health Board’s review: “Whilst I would encourage patients to feed in their views, without any proper consultation it is difficult to know what arguments to make to ensure services are maintained, beds aren’t lost and the patients who require the excellent care and support currently offered by South Pembs continue to receive what they need in a setting close to their home. “I will be meeting with the Health Board in the new year expressing my view that South Pembs is, and must remain, an important centre for delivering health care this side of the Cleddau Bridge.”

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Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

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‘We don’t want it’: councillors object to HGV tanker park plans

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PEMBROKE DOCK town councillors have objected strongly to plans to build a HGV tanker park in the town.

The tanker park would be located on the south-western side of Criterion Way, behind the ASDA petrol station.

However, at a meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 13, councillors were in agreement that it would create more problems for the town.

Councillor Jonathan George said: “I’ve noted the public input on this and they don’t seem very happy about where it’s going to be put.

“It is close to a small park area and I don’t think it’s suitable to put this here. I won’t be supporting this.”

Cllr George Manning added: “There are many aspects of this which are totally inappropriate for Pembroke Dock. There are many other sites available but they haven’t looked at any of them.

“This does not do anything for the Future Generations act and it will bring more disruption to the town.

“This does not bring about any improvements to the existing transport infrastructure. There are lots of things about this, we don’t want it. I don’t think they have looked into it in enough detail.”

Cllr Gordon Goff said that the impact it would have on the public and wildlife would be ‘astronomical’.

He went on to say he was not happy with one of the statements in the application and said they ‘don’t want to be blackmailed’.

One of the documents submitted with the application states that if the development was not approved it would mean that the applicants, Certas, ‘will either have to find a different site’ or ‘will have to cease operating in the area’.

Cllr Terry Judkins said that the Port Authority wanted to ‘use Pembroke Dock as a dumping ground’ and added that he could not support it.

Cllr Maureen Colgan added that she was ‘totally against’ the application and said that the area should be kept for leisure and be developed as an area where people can sit and enjoy themselves.

The application is due to be decided by Pembrokeshire County Council at a later date.

Cllr Paul Dowson has already called in the application for it to be debated by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

In his request he states that it is too near habitation, it is within the Pembroke Dock conservation area and that children have been using the area near the bandstand as play area for over 20 years.

The area had also previously been the subject of an application for a marina and other leisure facilities but that investment was written off in 2017.

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Trial of Haverfordwest primary school teacher starts at Swansea Crown Court

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher who is accused of sexually abusing eleven children thinks he is a victim of a witch hunt by the police, a jury has heard.

But at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Apr 12), the Clare Wilks for the prosecution said that the defendant had “abused the trust of parents and staff” by sexually touching children in his care.

James Oulton, denies 30 charges of sexual assault against the eleven children who were aged eight or nine years old at the time.

The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

The jury heard how the pupils, now aged between 11 and 17, claimed he touched them sexually.

But the court was also told that Mr Oulton claimed he received cards at the end of term, and he believed letters sent by Pembrokeshire council to parents encouraged false complaints and collusion between pupils.

Oulton, 34, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, told the court he had behaved appropriately.

The jury heard how the alleged abuse occurred while Mr Oulton was working at a primary school in Haverfordwest.

Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said some of the children alleged that they had been assaulted on a daily basis, while others had had given statements to say it only happened the one time.

The trial continues.

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