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Oriel y Parc Christmas Market to make a cracking comeback

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SHOPPERS searching for homemade gifts and festive fun should make their way to St Davids on Saturday 3 December, for the Oriel y Parc Christmas Market.

Open from 10am-3pm, the event will feature a wide range of stalls stocked with locally produced gifts, food and crafts products, while people can refuel on yuletide favourites from the on-site Pilgrims Café.

Oriel y Parc Manager, Claire Bates said: “We look forward to welcoming fantastic local businesses and customers back to our Christmas Market, having had to keep stalls outside last year due to Covid-19.

“We are delighted to be able to open our doors again this year, welcoming stallholders inside the building and in our courtyard. We’ll also be offering a range of hot food and drink to help you keep warm as you shop local.

“This is one of many free events being organised at Oriel y Parc and other National Park Authority attractions as part of the Winter of Well-being support programme, helping communities across the Park to stay well this winter.”

There are also a range of other festive activities taking place at Oriel y Parc between now and the end of December, with free drop-in Arty Craft Workshops from 10am-4pm every Saturday and Sunday (except 3 December, the day of the Christmas Market).

Families can also follow the Find the Reindeer Trail every day from Saturday 19 November for £2 per child, which will include a special prize at the end.

The North Pole post box will also be available from Saturday 19 November until 20 December, giving people a chance to post their letter to Santa. We’ll make sure it gets there safely, then you can collect your reply three days after posting, along with a small free gift.

There’s also On Your Doorstep exhibition, open daily from 10am-4pm, which could give you some new inspiration to explore the nature, geology and archaeology that exists all around us, over the festive period.

The Oriel y Parc Christmas Market will take place from 10am-3pm on Saturday 3 December. Entry is free and parking in the Oriel y Parc car park is also free.

For more information about Oriel y Parc visit www.orielyparc.co.uk, email [email protected] or call 01437 720392.

Health

New X-ray equipment plan at Tenby Cottage Hospital revealed

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X-RAY services at Tenby Cottage Hospital are to receive a major boost thanks to an investment of £625,000 in brand new equipment which is being installed at the Hywel Dda Health Board-run site over the next few weeks.

The equipment, funded by Welsh Government, will allow the unit not only to provide the highest quality images but will also mean patients with reduced mobility or advanced clinical needs can be more easily accommodated.

However, in order to install the new equipment, x-ray services will be temporarily unavailable in Tenby Cottage Hospital until Friday, 19April 2024.

Over the next few weeks, imaging for GP patients will be provided on an appointment only basis at South Pembrokeshire Hospital in Pembroke Dock between 9-5pm.

Patients attending the Minor Injuries walk-in centre can still attend Tenby Cottage Hospital but may be sent to Withybush if an x-ray is required. Alternatively, patients can choose to attend Withybush Emergency Department directly.

John Evans, Pembrokeshire County Director for Hywel Dda said: “We are delighted that Tenby Cottage Hospital will be receiving brand new and up to date x-ray equipment thanks to this investment from Welsh Government.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused over the short period of time while the equipment is being installed but look forward to providing an improved level of care for Tenby community patients into the future.”

Patients needing further help or information should contact the radiology departments at Withybush Hospital on 01437 773385 or South Pembrokeshire Hospital on 01437 774018.

The health board is reminding people not to attend busy A&E departments unless they have a critical, life-threatening emergency and asking people to choose their healthcare services very carefully, so that only people with urgent or emergency care needs are being seen in A&E. 

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Farming

Police warn of disruption to traffic as farmers protests take place

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FARMERS protests are taking place in Aberystwyth and Carmarthen today (Feb 22.)

The police took to Facebook on Thursday morning saying: “We are aware of potential disruption to traffic in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth town centres from midday today.

“The traffic network in and out of the towns may also be affected.

“If you are planning on travelling in those areas today, please consider changing your route or journey time to avoid delays.

“We will update when we have further information.”

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Health

NHS facing unprecedented winter pressures amid record demand

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THE NHS in Wales has been facing significant challenges this winter, with an exceptionally high number of emergency calls and delays that have put immense pressure on its staff and resources, according to the latest activity and performance statistics.

In January, the ambulance service received 5,009 red (life-threatening) calls, accounting for 13.9% of all calls. Despite a slight decrease from December, with an average of 162 life-threatening calls per day, this figure remains the third highest on record. The response times for these urgent calls have also been under scrutiny, with 48.8% of red calls receiving an emergency response within eight minutes, marking the second highest achievement for this metric. The average response time for these calls was 8 minutes and 11 seconds.

The performance data also revealed that approximately 27,000 hours were lost due to handover delays at hospitals, highlighting the systemic pressures faced by the health service. Despite these challenges, nearly all health boards came close to meeting the target for 97% of patient pathways waiting less than two years by 2024, missing it by a mere 0.03%.

Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Assistant Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, commented on the impact of the winter pressures and the exceptional demand on NHS services. “The monumental efforts of our staff have led to some improvements, such as a decrease in the number of people waiting the longest for treatment in December. However, the progress is threatened by the junior doctor strike action in January and February, which has led to a significant number of planned care procedures being postponed.”

Lloyd-Jones stressed the need for comprehensive planning and significant investment in NHS infrastructure and social care to ensure the health service can continue to improve and meet the demands placed upon it. “Good planning alone is not enough. Without significant capital investment and a whole-nation approach to health and wellbeing, alongside substantial changes to social care funding and provision, the progress of NHS leaders will be limited.”

The Welsh NHS Confederation, which represents the seven local health boards, three NHS trusts, and other health organisations in Wales, has been vocal about the challenges faced by the NHS and the need for strategic investment and support to navigate through these difficult times.

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