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Welsh patients wait twice as long for hip operations

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patients waitA JOINT investigation by Simon Hart MP and the Shadow Welsh Health Minister has revealed that Welsh patients are waiting more than twice as long for hip replacements as patients in England.

Official government figures requested by Mr Hart and Darren Millar AM revealed that Welsh patients wait six months for treatment, whereas in England, patients can expect to be operated on within eleven weeks.

“More and more people are getting in touch with me who are desperate for these operations,” said Mr Hart. “One lady from Pembrokeshire who wrote to me had worked in the NHS for 40 years before retiring. She has been told she will have to wait between 12-18 months for a new hip, whereas family in the Midlands can expect to have the operation in just two to three months. She is only 57 and is in so much pain that she has decided to spend £9,000 of her NHS pension on having the treatment privately.

“I can see why people in Wales are so upset at receiving such second-class treatment.”

Mr Hart teamed up with Darren Millar, Clwyd West AM and Welsh Shadow Health Minister to ask the same questions of the Welsh and Westminster governments.

In a written reply, Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford said that the average waiting time for a hip replacement in 2012 in Wales was 169 days, or just over six months.

Mr Hart was told by Jane Ellison MP, Under Secretary of State for Public Health, that the average waiting time for hip replacement in England in 2012 was 78 days.

“What is also of great concern is that waiting times are only going to get even longer because Hywel Dda Health Board has cut the number of orthopaedic operations it carries out this winter by 50%,” added Mr Hart.

“We are hearing first-hand from constituents that we are getting a second-class health service in Wales and now we have the figures to prove it.”

Darren Millar AM said: “There can be no excuses for the wide disparity in performance between England and Wales – Welsh patients deserve to have timely access to treatment such as hip operations and delays can cause misery to them and their loved ones.

“The Welsh Labour Government must get a grip of this situation and ensure that the NHS has the resources it needs to provide the high quality care which the public rightly demand.”

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Business

St David’s Day boost: Pembs creamery launches new Welsh milk price

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PEMBROKESHIRE CREAMERY, which is set to begin production this spring, has used St Davids’ Day to launch its new milk price for Welsh milk.

Using the industry-recognised Liquid Standard Litre the company has announced an April milk price of 38.5 pence per litre.

Pembrokeshire Creamery will be the only liquid milk bottling facility in Wales certified to supply Welsh supermarkets. Ultimately this will be local Welsh milk, produced, processed and distributed from this new development.

Eliminating the need for transporting milk to England for processing, Pembrokeshire Creamery significantly reduces food miles, streamlines the supply chain, creates new skilled jobs in Pembrokeshire, and bolsters local farming communities. This efficiency enables Pembrokeshire Creamery to offer producers who have already committed, and those following the project as it develops, a competitive milk price from April 2024.

Mark McQuade, managing director, Pembrokeshire Creamery said: “It seemed fitting, on St David’s Day, to launch an April milk price for Welsh milk which we hope will be sufficiently competitive to attract farmers from across the region to consider us as a potential customer.

“We will be the only BRC Certified facility to offer Welsh milk that is also bottled in Wales enabling us to offer an authentically Welsh milk supply for Welsh supermarket stores.

“This unique selling point gives Pembrokeshire Creamery, and the farmers who work with us, a strong point of difference in meeting the needs of both retailers and consumers who increasingly value locally-sourced produce,” he said.

The development of Pembrokeshire Creamery has been supported by the Welsh Government and the EU RDP-funded Food Business Investment Scheme. Additional funding has been supplied by HSBC.

(Cover Image: Mark Sinclair)

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Seren shines in shooting sports, breaking records and winning medals

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SEREN THORNE, a young talent from Letterston, has been making waves in the world of 10m air rifle precision shooting. A former student of Ysgol Casblaidd, Ysgol Bro Gwaun, and the sixth form at Haverfordwest’s VC High School, Seren is currently furthering her education in music at Cardiff University. However, it is her achievements in shooting sports that are capturing the nation’s attention.

Seren’s journey in shooting began at the tender age of 8, initially with the pistol as part of her participation in the Pony Club tetrathlon. Her transition to the air rifle in 2020 marked the beginning of an illustrious path in this discipline. Since then, Seren has not only embraced the sport but has excelled at it, demonstrating an exceptional level of precision and composure.

Her hard work and dedication bore fruit in November when she clinched two gold medals at the Welsh Championships. At this event, Seren not only topped the podium but also broke the Welsh and British junior women’s qualification record, setting a new benchmark for aspiring shooters.

However, Seren’s achievements did not stop at the national level. In February, she represented Great Britain at the Junior World Cup in Granada, Spain. There, she added to her medal tally by securing an individual silver medal and breaking the British junior women’s final record. Seren’s success continued as she contributed to a mixed team bronze medal, once again breaking the previous British junior record.

More recently, Seren participated in the British Open Championships, where she was crowned the British junior women’s champion and won the British confined open women’s championship. These victories are a testament to her skill, determination, and the promising future she has in the sport of shooting.

Seren Thorne’s achievements are not just personal victories but also a source of pride for her community in Letterston, her schools, and indeed for the whole of Britain. As she continues to study and train, the nation watches eagerly to see how far this talented young shooter will go.

Seren’s journey in shooting sports is a vivid reminder of the dedication and hard work required to excel at the highest levels, and she is undoubtedly a rising star to keep an eye on in the years to come.

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Crime

Detectives investigating the death of boy, 15, near Lampeter

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Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 15-year-old boy at a location near Lampeter on Friday afternoon (March 1), the force has confirmed.

The family is being supported by specialist officers.

The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for H.M. Coroner.

The police issued a statement saying: “We are aware of concern in the community, however as an investigation is ongoing we would ask that support is given to the family by not speculating on the circumstances surrounding the death.”

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