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What safety net?

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ambulanceTHE REVELATION of the extent of the Welsh Ambulance Service crisis could not come at a worse time for the local health board. 

Having scrapped SCBU and a consultant-led obstetric service and replaced it with a 24/7 dedicated ambulance, the Herald revealed two weeks ago that an advert for staff to crew the vehicle did not expire until after the service at Withybush had been removed. The Herald understands that despite Freemasons providing a specialist transport pod for babies to Withybush Hospital, that equipment has been commandeered for use at Glangwili.

As a result, Pembrokeshire neonates and infants travelling to Glangwili in an emergency will be reliant upon a heated mattress. A standard specification ambulance does not carry the equipment a sick neonate requires. To transport a sick neonate or baby needs specialised transport from the ground up. The ambulance must have the floor attachments to secure 200kg of neonatal transport incubator. All of the equipment must be the size for a neonate. While paramedics will do their best they are not a specialist neonatal transport nurse, of which two are required. Safe in the knowledge that the summer recess was coming, Health Minister Mark Drakeford claimed a robust safety net would be in place to ensure patient safety.

Mr Drakeford has avoided scrutiny for now, but is sure to face questions on how the Board persuaded the government that an understaffed and under-resourced service was either safe or robust. He will hardly need reminding that any mishap or tragedy will be laid firmly at his door. It also appears that despite repeated assurances that mothers will not have to travel outside the health board area to deliver their babies, and in spite of planning the closure of SCBU at Withybush for years, facilities are still not ready at Glangwili.

The Pembrokeshire Herald has been contacted by Martin McGeown, whose wife Bianca is expecting twins, a boy and a girl: “We have had a few complications with the little boy so we were back and forth to Cardiff. We are now in Singleton, Swansea. No cots were available at Carmarthen and we were sent to Bridgend hospital on Friday. “I then drove at 12 at night with Bianca down to Swansea as a bed become available. We were told if no cots were available in Wales we would have had to go to Birmingham that day.

“I’m so sad about our hospital and my heart is with all the midwives who have been treated so badly. I hope we can do something about this, as you don’t realise until it happens to one of you “Me and my family have been pulled from pillar to post not knowing were our children would be born. Swansea Singleton are amazing but deep down it should have been at Withybush. “This is not going to get better and has to be sorted.” Commenting on the closure this week of the Special Care Baby Unit at Withybush Hospital, MP Stephen Crabb said: “I was deeply disappointed to see SCBU close this week. Pembrokeshire residents have fought long and hard to retain this vital service but the Welsh Labour Health Minister has pushed on regardless.”

“I have discussed these changes with both the Health Board and the Welsh Health Minister. At no point have I been reassured about the apparent safety-nets planned to deal with emergencies in future. We do not know if these are even operational. With SCBU now closed, this is a damning indictment of Welsh Labour’s health policy.” “People are right to be concerned. Even if the A40 is free from problems, Welsh ambulance response time targets have been missed year after year. Already this week we have seen reports of police cars across Wales transporting patients to hospital because ambulances are not available.” “I have written again to the Welsh Health Minister voicing my concerns. Pembrokeshire residents deserve, at the very least, to be given assurances that adequate plans are in place for dealing with emergency cases.”

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

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TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.

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Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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