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Paediatric care hours to change from Monday

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withybushTHE OPENING hours at Withybush Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit will be changed to 10am-6pm from Monday (Dec 5).

The move comes following a decision, taken in the interests of patient safety due to a shortage of consultant paediatricians, by Hywel Dda University Health Board last week.

Referrals to PACU can continue to be made up until 6pm, after which necessary discharges or transfers to Glangwili Hospital when an overnight stay in hospital is required will be made.

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations Joe Teape explained: “We are carefully planning this temporary change and will be spending a lot of time during the coming days finalising the activation plan and making sure that all our staff, GPs, including out-of-hours, and partners such as the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust and NHS Direct are aware and are able to appropriately advise and assist children and their families.”

A task and finish group with clinicians and managers is also being set up to closely monitor the change and ensure further work is progressed in areas including recruitment, technology and engagement with the pubic on a longer term plan to restore the service to a 12 hour one. Weekly updates will be provided to Hywel Dda Community Health Council, as well as regular updates for the general public.

The temporary change has been put in place as a result of national challenges in the recruitment of consultant paediatricians combined with particular problems in Pembrokeshire due to the retirement of one consultant coinciding with maternity leave of another and sickness.

The temporary service change, which will be active from next week, reflects the 10am-10pm model that has been in place and has been providing safe care since service change two years ago, but from the new times of 10am-6pm and with remote consultant paediatric support from Glangwili Hospital at night.

Parents should continue to access healthcare services for children in the usual ways.

Children who present at Withybush Hospital out-of-hours will usually be transferred to Glanwgili Hospital for paediatric input. In the exceptional circumstance where emergency resuscitation is required, emergency and anaesthetic staff will resuscitate, stabilise, and arrange transfer onto another hospital.

In the meantime, the health board continues to reduce the impact on families as much as possible. This includes provision of the dedicated ambulance vehicle for transfers between Withybush and Glangwili hospitals, provision of funded transport schemes such as that provided by Action for Children, help under the NHS Travel Costs scheme and, in exceptional circumstances where no alternatives are available, vulnerable families will be provided with a paid for taxi to return home.

Recruitment efforts will continue, both for substantive, permanent posts and locum (temporary) paediatric consultants. The health board has secured an agency consultant for an extended period of three months and is interviewing a potential candidate for a role at either Withybush or Bronglais hospitals in January. Adverts for Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioners are also being placed.

For a paediatric minor injury, go to Withybush Emergency and Urgent Care Centre (EUCC) 24 hours a day. In an emergency, if your child is very sick, you should dial 999 for assistance.

Parents can also call NHS Direct Wales – 0845 46 47 – they can advise you if you are unsure what to do, as well as provide health information on a wide range of conditions, treatment and local health services.

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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