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Health board mulls formal public consultation over selection of new hospital site

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HYWEL DDA University Health Board will next week decide whether to hold a formal public consultation to assist with selection of the site for a new urgent and planned care hospital somewhere in the zone between and including Narberth and St Clears.

An extraordinary health board meeting is being held at 9.30am on Thursday 4 August 2022 and one of the recommendations in the report being discussed, and supported by the independent watchdog Hywel Dda Community Health Council, is to hold a public consultation process.

A huge amount of work to review five potential sites for the proposed new hospital – one in Narberth, two sites near Whitland and two near St Clears – has already taken place with public and patient representatives, clinical and non-clinical staff, and stakeholders, including other public sector organisations.

However campaigners fighting to save Withybush Hospital say that the health board has not done enough to engage with the public. They say that most people want services retained at the current Withybush Hospital site.

Ahead of the meeting, Hywel Dda Director of Strategic Development & Operational Planning, Lee Davies said: “We are so grateful for the significant work that has been carried out during the appraisal process and this will be presented to the health board next week. It will be down to the board to determine which sites should be taken forward for further consideration and a recommended public consultation as this is such a fundamental part of our service provision for future generations.”

This would be the next step towards the health board’s long term strategy for a healthier mid and west Wales. It follows submission of a programme business case to the Welsh Government earlier this year, seeking more than a billion pounds of investment in the buildings and capital infrastructure in west Wales.

A fundamental enabler to investing more in community and preventative health and care, and to deal with long standing challenges in the health and care system in the area, is the provision of a new urgent and planned care hospital.

The zone, somewhere between and including Narberth and St Clears, is the most central for the majority of the population in the south and was determined as part of the engagement, option development and public consultation held between 2017 and 2018.

The health board meeting will hear outputs from four separate land appraisal groups, focusing individually on the technical, clinical, workforce, and financial/economic considerations of the possible sites and areas within the zone.

From the reports, there is not a current ‘preferred’ site as there is a range of different evidence, impacts and viewpoints to be considered.

The technical appraisal group, made up of a majority of public from across our localities as well as staff, scored the potential sites considering weighted technical criteria and feedback from public engagement. Four of the five sites had very similar scores, with only one of the sites near St Clears scoring significantly lower than others.

Two distinct clinical groups – one for neonatal services, obstetrics and paediatrics and another for stroke services – considered the implications of siting the new hospital either further east, centrally or further west within the zone.

The neonatal services, obstetrics, and paediatrics expert group found of the three geographical areas within the zone, those furthest east presented the least clinical risk to services. Attendees of the workshop were of the opinion that a site further east outside the zone would be preferable. They were concerned that the zone presents a risk of reduction in critical mass of patients, due to potential for people in the east attending services elsewhere and resulting in a reduction in birth numbers, and neonatal and paediatric admissions. This was outside the scope of the appraisal and the geographical zone was agreed following engagement and consultation in 2018.

The expert group for stroke services reported that any area of the zone would be suitable due to the focus on pathways and how patients are treated beyond their initial admission. It did however state that for access to workforce reasons the sites central or east would be more preferable.

The workforce appraisal focused on the accessibility impact for the Health Board’s workforce. Evidence the group considered, included travel time analysis and potential staffing impact and risk. The group noted that there would be impact on those who traditionally are able to work locally to their homes and those who reasonably expect to travel linked to their professions. Different strategies to reduce this impact would be adopted as work progresses. The group found it inconclusive to say if a site further east would have a greater impact to securing a sustainable workforce overall, including for recruitment.

The financial and economic appraisal focused on appraising the process and outcomes that may be required for capital funding and next steps in land acquisition. It found as a percentage of the overall estimated costs of the development, there was little to distinguish between different sites.

The Health Board will also be presented with information about the overarching and ongoing Equality and Health Impact Assessment and how people with protected characteristics are being involved and considered, as well as how any negative impacts for people will be minimised.

You can watch the meeting on live stream, and a link will be available from the Health Board website.

Crime

Letterston woman found guilty of possession of heroin

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A HEROIN supplier from Letterston has been found guilty of possessing heroin with intent to supply at Swansea Crown Court this week. 

Sarah Jane Elyse Badrock, 36, admitted to being a heroin addict and claimed she bought the Class A drug in an attempt to prevent the pain from her injured ankle she acquired following a sprained ankle whilst working as a carer in 2020. 

She also claimed that it was easier to buy the drug than source painkillers via the NHS. 

Badrock appeared in Swansea Crown Court to deny possession of 24.09g of diamorphine heroin with intent to supply, as well as a further charge of being concerned in the supply of Class A diamorphine. 

Badrock made 13 journeys from her home in Jubilee Close, Letterston to Nelson, near Merthyr Tydfil, between October 22 and December 21, 2020. 

On each journey, Badrock bought a 3.5g measure of heroin which she claimed was for her own controlled personal use. 

She said she travelled 200 miles each time as she wanted to keep her controlled addiction a secret. 

Her barrister, counsel Jon Tarrant, said: “It has brought her shame and embarrassment,

“It [heroin] only revealed itself in the confines of her bedroom and it was a private, dark secret which, if it was to be leaked, was going to be life changing.”

Prosecution Counsel, Mr Ian Wright, responded: “Why did she make 13 round trips to the Rhymney Valley that would cost a considerable amount of money in petrol when she claims her heroin addiction was controlled?

“She’s pulling wool over our eyes.”

Badrock was apprehended by police on the A40 near St Clears in the early hours of December 20, 2020. She pulled a condom from inside her bra, which contained a large quantity of heroin which had a street value of £3,000. 

Badrock insisted it was for her personal use and that the Class A drug would help her pain over the 2020 Christmas Covid lockdown. 

Ian Wright asked the jury: “You must bring to this trial your own common sense,

“She claims she bought the heroin because she couldn’t get prescribed medication for her ankle pain.

“Really? We’re all struggling to get appointments with our GPs but do we take the leap to buy heroin?

“This is the real world, so what does your common sense tell you about that explanation? It’s nonsense.”

He also questioned the large amount of heroin that was found in Badrock’s possession when she was apprehended by the police.

“If you’re using a heavily addictive drug such as heroin and you have a large quantity in front of you, can you ration your use and regulate it, or do you just use as much as you can, as often as you can? 

“This is why heroin users only buy small amounts on a daily basis. But the defendant was found in possession of a very substantial amount.

“We’ve heard the defendant say that she has had a difficult life where she was deceiving people about her use of heroin because she was ashamed of what she was doing but this is precisely what she’s doing here today. She’s deceiving you.”

After a three and a half hour deliberation, the jury found Badrock guilty of both counts.

Badrock was remanded in custody to await her sentence which will be delivered on October 14 following a full probation report.

Judge Wayne Beard commented: “This is going to be an inevitable custodial sentence which should begin as soon as possible,

“There is no advantage to be gained by not placing you in custody immediately.”

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Hywel Dda encourages vaccination as flu expected to be a major public health issue this winter

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HYWEL DDA University Health Board is urging anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccine to take up the offer.

It comes as Public Health experts have warned that they are expecting a significant flu season this winter for the first time since the pandemic.

There are concerns that it may start earlier this year and affect more people.

In addition, the Covid-19 autumn booster programme is now live and many people including everyone over 50 years old, and those at risk of severe disease are among those being offered a Covid-19 booster to reduce their chances of getting seriously ill with Covid-19.

If you are eligible for an autumn COVID-19 booster, please wait to be invited by either your GP or the health board. Everyone eligible will be offered an appointment by November.

GP practices are also preparing to invite eligible patients for their seasonal flu vaccine and aim to offer an appointment to everyone eligible by December. Again, please do not contact your GP practice at this time, you will be invited when it is your turn.

Cases of flu (also known as influenza) are already being detected in Wales. Public health scientists say that the flu season could be as severe as the 2017/18 flu outbreak, where 16.5 thousand people in Wales were diagnosed with flu by their GP, and 2,500 people were hospitalised. There was also a high level of seasonal excess deaths that year – the worst for around 20 years.

Since March 2020, the Covid-19 lockdowns and international travel restrictions have disrupted the amount of respiratory viruses in circulation, but as our lives are going back to normal, viruses are returning in higher numbers. This year, Australia experienced a flu season which was earlier than usual and saw the highest case levels in five years. It is possible that the UK – and Wales – will experience similar flu activity.

With Covid-19 also in circulation, and added winter pressures on the NHS, it is more important than ever that those who are eligible for a free flu or Covid-19 vaccine get vaccinated to help prevent them becoming seriously unwell and protect the NHS this winter.

Dr Joanne McCarthy, Deputy Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness and also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

“The pandemic has made us much more aware that vaccination saves lives and reduces hospitalisations. Vaccination may not stop you from catching flu or COVID-19, but it makes it far less likely that you will be severely ill or need hospitalisation.”

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We are encouraging everyone to get both their jabs this winter, when flu and COVID will be at their peak, to protect themselves, those around them and the NHS during what will be a busy time for healthcare in Wales.”

To promote the vaccinations, Public Health Wales has launched a campaign encouraging those eligible to ‘power up’ their protection against serious illness this winter by getting the flu and Covid-19 vaccines. The campaign launches on 27 September with digital and social content as well as stakeholder outreach and radio adverts.

Vaccination is particularly important for those who are older, pregnant, or have a health condition and are more vulnerable to complications as a result of the infections. It is also very important that frontline healthcare workers and those who work in care homes or providing care in peoples own homes get their vaccines to help reduce spread.

To help stop flu and other viruses spreading, remember to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’

For more information about how to get the vaccines, please visit https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/flu-vaccine-and-covid-19-autumn-booster/.

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Everyone is welcome to the latest Community Open Day at Milford Haven mosque

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FOLLOWING the wonderful success of the open days at Milford Haven mosque on September 10 and 11, Milford Haven’s Islamic community has decided to open the doors once again to those who missed the event due to the death of The Queen, and of course to everyone who came last time who would like to pop in again.

Everyone is welcome from all over Pembrokeshire and beyond – this is not only a Milford Haven event – The Herald has been told.

The Mosque said it understands that some people stayed at home following the loss of The Sovereign, and others may have thought that the event had been cancelled, as many events across the UK had been cancelled during that weekend.

The poster for the event

The next open day will take place on Sunday October 2 and the venue will be open between 12pm to 5pm.

During the Open Day there will be an exhibition of Islam, and food will be provided for guests.

There is no need to book if you would like to attend, and women are respectfully requested to consider their dress is appropriate when attending the mosque.

View inside: Mosque in Milford Haven was recently rennovated

DEFINITION OF ISLAM

A way of life that leads to peace by keeping the commandments to attain submission to the one and only God.

In Islam belief in the one and only God is fundamental. Associating anyone or anything else with God is a mortal sin.

THE DEFINITION OF A MUSLIM

A Muslim is a person who believes in the religion of his father Abraham, believing in the one and only God and in all the prophets and messengers. A Muslim is one who submits his will to the will of God.

WHO IS ALLAH

It is the proper name for God in Arabic.

Christians whose mother tongue is Arabic refer to God as Allah.

WHAT MUSLIMS BELIEVE 

Muslims believe in all the Prophets from Adam through to Moses and Jesus; they believe Muhammad is the last Prophet sent by God to mankind.

WHO IS MUHAMMAD

He is the descendant of Ishmael son of Abraham.

Prophesised by:

-Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15 “The Lord thy God will raise up on to thee a prophet from the midst of thee of thy brethren like unto me unto him ye shall harken”.

-Jesus in the Gospel of John 14:15-16 “if you love me keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father and he shall give you another comforter”.

WHO GAVE THE MESSAGE TO MUHAMMAD.

Angel Gabriel visited Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years revealing the Quran in stages.

The same Angel Gabriel who announced to Mary that she was to have a holy son named Jesus.

THE MESSAGE OF GOD THROUGH MUHAMMAD IS THE QURAN

The Quranic message is the same as the message of all the prophets sent by God.

That message is to believe in the one and only God and his prophets or Messengers.

For example,

– Deuteronomy; the message of Moses in 6:4 “Hear O’Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one”.

-The Gospel of Mark; we find the message of Jesus, “Hear O’Israel the Lord your God is one God”.

-The Quran chapter 112 “Say He Allah,  Allah the Eternal, Absolute’.

WHO DOES THE QURAN ADDRESS

The Quran addresses:

-Mankind, stating that the Quran is a mercy to all mankind.

The Quran also states that Muhammad is a mercy to all mankind.

Most of mankind have not read the Quran, yet God addresses them directly and indirectly.

-The scientific community to include embryologists, oceanologists, astrologers and others.

-People of different beliefs:

Addressing the Jews, as “Children of Israel” and the Christians as “people of the Gospel” and others.

THE MUSLIM RELIGION

When addressing Muslims in Chapter twenty-two, the Quran informs the Muslims that their religion is the religion of their father Abraham who did not join gods with God.

Abraham’s religion was belief in one God.

In Chapter three the Quran informs mankind that Abraham was not a Jew nor a Christian, for neither Moses nor Christ had appeared.

The Quran informs us that Abraham was a man true in faith and submitted his will to the will of God.

THE STORY OF ABRAHAM BEING ASKED TO SACRIFICE HIS SON

The Bible and the Quran tell the story of how Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son.

Abraham submitted to the one and only God and God replaced his son with a lamb.

ABIDING BY THE COMMANDMENTS

Abiding by the commandments is submission.

The Quran instructs Muslims to obey Allah and obey his messenger.

This is the same as The Old Testament at Genesis 26:5 “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus informs his followers at 14: 15 “If you love me keep my commands”.

Matthew 5:17 “do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them”.

Quran 5:46 “and in their footsteps (that is the footsteps of earlier prophets) we sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the law that came before him, We sent him the Gospel; therein was guidance and a light and a confirmation of the law that had come before him; a guidance and an admonition for those who guard against evil”.

PEACE/SALAM

The word Islam comes from the same root letters as the word peace. Thus, submission to the will of Allah brings about a state of peace by way of submission.

CONCLUSION

Muslims believe in:

-God.

-the same God who Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus believed in.

-that Muhammad is the last and final prophet.

-the commandments of all the prophets from Adam to Muhammad.

-the day of Judgement.

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