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Save Withybush: Locals protest A&E closure plan

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ROUGHLY 300 people attended a protest on Wednesday (Feb 23) outside Withybush General Hospital.

The ‘Save Withybush’ campaign aims to save the hospital and its A&E department from closure.

In new plans by Hywel Dda University Health Board, Withybush would be ‘repurposed’ into a community hospital with a 24/7 urgent care centre led by GPs that would only be capable of dealing with minor injuries, such as: upper body injuries, infections, head injuries, illnesses, animal or insect bites, some broken bones, minor burns and eye injuries.

They’re hoping for £1.3 billion in funding to “fundamentally improve the way in which health and care services are provided”.

If the plans are approved, the A&E units at Withybush General Hospital and Carmarthen’s Glangwili Hospital could close.

Locals are concerned that the additional travel time to other hospitals could be the difference between life and death.

One of the protesters, Moira Lewis, has said: “We are so far away from other hospitals.

“It’s 44 miles from Goodwick to Carmarthen, and ambulances don’t turn up as quickly as they could.

“This will all add to the pressure. At the end of the day, somebody could die before they arrive.”

Jaqueline Doig, of ‘Save Withybush’, a group who have also created a petition to get the ‘repurposing’ discussed in The Senedd, said: “Moving care out of county puts adults & children at risk of poor outcomes or even death. It wastes crucial time, when time is not on our side.”

“[Hywel Dda University Health Board] may infer that the “Golden Hour” is no longer relevant, with better equipped ambulances & higher trained staff, but that is dependent on an ambulance being available to help & give that immediate care.

Protest at Withybush Hospital (Image M Cavaney)

“That is increasingly not the case, as ambulances fail to attend, as they are being sent out of county, unable to offload and unable to return to county, to give the help needed.”

“We have lost faith & trust in HDUHB and do not believe that they are working in the best interests of Pembrokeshire.”

Steve Moore, the health board chief executive, says that a new hospital is vital.

“We are stretched very thin at the moment, and that means we struggle with staffing,” he said.

“Quite often, people struggle with waiting times.

“While they may be able to get to the hospital front door, it can be a real challenge for our staff to see them in a reasonable timescale, and that creates a poor service for the public.

“Building a new hospital will allow us to do much better at that.”

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Council to showcase services at County Show

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THE SHOW IS BACK – and following a two-year absence, this year’s event will be the first open to the public since 2019.
As a celebration of rural life in the county, the show is the perfect platform to engage with both local communities and visitors.
This year, the largest county agricultural show in Wales, will be held over two days, on 17 and 18 August – and the Pembrokeshire County Council is attending the event to highlight the work they undertake, support available and the employment opportunities they have to offer.
To ensure the Local Authority provides information on a wide range of our services, this year our Social Services team are in a stand-alone marquee, enabling people to visit a one-stop-shop of support.
We will also give visitors the opportunity to join us in the corporate marquee to engage with Cabinet Members, the Chief Executive and a whole host of interesting and innovative projects happening across the county.
Pembrokeshire County Council Chief Executive Will Bramble said: “Our teams are excited about engaging with the public and having the opportunity to demonstrate what they do – and highlight the wealth of support available along with the wide range of career opportunities we have to offer.
“This will be my first Pembrokeshire Show as Chief Executive and I am looking forward to engaging with the rural and wider communities of this fantastic county.
“The Pembrokeshire Show is the perfect platform to celebrate the amazing produce we have to offer – and to meet new and old friends. Please come and visit our marquees and discover more about the support available and the transformational projects we are doing, which will improve the lives of our communities and visitors. I look forward to meeting you at the show.”
Among those joining the team will be the Broadband project, the Haverfordwest Regeneration work and the fascinating ongoing archaeological dig exhibition with Dyfed Archaeological Trust. Visitors will also get the chance to engage with Cabinet Members who will attend across the two-day event.
In the Social Services marquee will be Foster Care, Carers Support and the recruitment team who will be able to discuss how you can start your career in social care, and join the team making a real difference to the lives of people in our communities.
Cllr Paul Miller: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change, added: “The County Show is a well-loved and important celebration of rural life in Pembrokeshire, and we are delighted to be part of the event once again this year. Our staff and members will be chatting to lots of people from communities’ right across Pembrokeshire: please do drop into our stands and say hello – we’re looking forward to meeting you.”

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RNLI help firefighters control island blaze

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ST DAVIDS lifeboat volunteers provided support to local fire crews tackling a wildfire on Carreg Fran off Porthlysgi beach on Monday, (Aug 8).

The fire on Carreg Fran Porthlysgi beach is suspected to have started from the remnants of wild camping on the island.

St Davids fire service requested the assistance of the all-weather lifeboat Norah Wortley to transfer staff and equipment following reports of people swimming to the island in an attempt to extinguish the blaze.
Seven fire crews used a featherweight pump and hoses to douse the island with sea water in an operation lasting over seven hours.

This is the second time St Davids lifeboat volunteers have been called to wildfire concerns at Carreg Fran within the last month.

Despite earlier attempts to control the fire, the islands’ peat surface has continued to smoulder.

Will Chant, RNLI Coxswain for St Davids RNLI lifeboat, said: “St Davids fire station requested our logistical help to safely transport their crew and equipment to Carreg Fran.

“We stood by in support whilst the fire crew tackled the wildfire.

“Despite their best efforts, the fire reignited the next day, so we urge members of the public not to attempt to access the island as they are putting their own lives at risk.”

Since the start of summer, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue have attended 280 grass fires that have either been started deliberately or were accidental.

Richie Vaughan-Williams, Arson Reduction Manager, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Its everyone’s responsibility to protect our countryside from wildfires.

“Many of the fires are set deliberately but some occur through negligence or boredom.

“This is frustrating when our fire crews can then get detained for hours in difficult conditions trying to stop the damage, meaning that they are then sometimes delayed in attending other emergencies.”I would encourage everyone to consider their actions when enjoying the countryside and avoid lighting fires at all.

“We need to work together to support our communities, to ensure the safety of our family and friends, neighbours, members of the public and our Emergency Services.”

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Pembrokeshire County Council issues dog boarding kennels warning

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PEMBROKESHIRE dog owners and those visiting the County with their pets are being reminded that any individuals offering to board their dogs must be licensed by Pembrokeshire County Council.The message comes from the Council’s Animal Health and Welfare Team following an increase in ‘dog boarding’ advertising on Facebook.
Cllr Michelle Bateman, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said: “While we enjoy the summer, we want to remind all dog owners, whether you are a resident or in Pembrokeshire for a holiday, that those offering to accommodate your dog must hold a licence from the Council.
“This is required by law under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, whether it be in a home, kennels or a day care environment, and is irrespective of the period of time required.”
All dogs must also be up to date with their vaccinations, which includes Kennel Cough.
The Animal Health and Welfare Team would also like to advise dog owners to be diligent when engaging dog walking only services to ensure that those offering

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