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New renal unit finally opens

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renalWITHYBUSH HOSPITAL’S new £7.8m renal unit has opened its doors and has started to treat some local patients this week as part of the first phase of opening. Further patients from Pembrokeshire who are currently being treated in Carmarthenshire will also benefit from receiving dialysis treatment closer to home later this year as part of the second phase. The 21 station, state of the art renal unit is a service that has been provided thanks to a collaboration between the Welsh Renal Clinical Network, Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee, and University Health Boards in Hywel Dda and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg.

Bernardine Rees OBE, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I’m delighted that Pembrokeshire patients are now able to receive their treatment in such a modern facility without travelling far from home. I’d like to praise the hard work and dedication of the staff who worked tirelessly over the weekend to get the unit ready for opening this week. This development is excellent news for the people of Pembrokeshire and our renal patients who will directly benefit from this significant investment into Withybush Hospital.”

Nicola Shaw, Regional Business Manager for Fresenius Medical Care Renal Services, who are commissioned to provide the service added: “We have been providing the service for the last six years and so were delighted to be selected to operate the service in the new unit. We know that patients have waited a long time for a permanent unit so at long last they can access a first class service and facility.” Patient Hannah Whatley from Pembroke Dock, who has a genetic disorder which has resulted in the need for dialysis, had previously been travelling to Morriston and Glangwili Hospitals to receive her treatment.

Mrs Whatley said: “The new unit is fantastic and the staff have been brilliant, nothing is too much trouble for them. This new unit means a lot to the people of Pembrokeshire and will improve the lives of many as they won’t need to travel so far anymore.” Carol Legg from Freystrop, who is also benefiting from being treated closer to home, added: “Previously when I was travelling to Glangwili Hospital I would have to be up at 5am to get my lift which was such a long day.” The facility includes consulting, training and treatment areas, together with seminar and conference facilities.

Patients have been included throughout the design which has resulted in a beach theme and patient enhancements such as individual patient televisions and WIFI access through the treatment areas. The close association with Pembrokeshire Access Group through the design stage has ensured the building meets the needs of able bodied and disabled people. It has also achieved Breeam ‘excellent’ status by incorporating solar powered electrical generators, making it the greenest building ever produced by the University Health Board. In addition, this development at the front of the hospital has also increased the number of car parking spaces and improved public transport access as the bus can now drop off in the front of the hospital.

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Pembroke Dock: Two in hospital following Fort Road car accident

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EMERGENCY SERVICES dealt with what has been described by a witness as a “horrific car accident” in the Pembroke Dock area on Wednesday night (Jun 12).

A 23-year-old woman, driving a black BMW, travelled down Fort Road at speed, hit a low wall, catapulting the vehicle some considerable distance across a picnic area. The vehicle ended up irreparably damaged on the beach – which was luckily not in use at the time – landing next to the old Cambridge Gun Tower.

No other vehicles seem to have been involved, police said.

The driver has been arrested but remains in hospital, one passenger is in a critical but stable condition, in Cardiff, and a second passenger sustained only minor injuries.

A spokesperson for Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 10.45pm on Wednesday night (Jun 23), to reports of a road traffic accident near the Fort Road car park in Pembroke Dock.

“We attended the scene with one rapid response vehicle, two emergency ambulances and our Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service.

“Two people were taken to University Hospital Wales, Cardiff for further treatment.”

The police are appealing in the media for information following the crash.

An official statement from the police reads as follows: “We were called to Fort Road, Pembroke Dock, at around 10.45pm on Wednesday night to reports of a single-vehicle collision. Ambulance and fire service also attended.

“A 19-year-old man was taken to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff and remains in a critical but stable condition.

“A second passenger attended hospital for minor injuries but has since been discharged. A 23-year-old woman was arrested, and currently remains in hospital.

“Anyone who witnessed the collision but who has not yet spoken to us should get in touch by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, visiting our website, or calling 101.

UPDATE: 24.06.2021, 15:47HRS

On Thursday (Jun 24) said that the female who was arrested was de-arrested because of the need for medical treatment, and is “no longer under arrest at this time.”

The police also added that their investigation was “still active”.

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Pembrokeshire call handler helps deliver Llanelli couple’s new baby

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A 999 CALL HANDLER from Pembrokeshire has helped deliver a Llanelli couple’s baby.

Father-of-two Chris Bassett, from Hook, answered the call from the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Carmarthen, and whose instructions on loudspeaker enabled the pair to deliver their 8lb 1oz new arrival safely.

Thanks to Chris, Troy Smith, 34, and partner Abigail Jones, 33, delivered baby Arabella Dilys Smith in the bedroom of their Llanelli home.

Troy said: “I’ve never felt adrenaline like it but I knew I had to focus on the situation for Abigail and the baby’s sake.

“It all happened so quickly, but Chris’ voice on the other end of the phone kept us calm.”

Abigail, a teacher at Ysgol Carreg Hir in Briton Ferry, went into labour at around 10.00pm on Thursday, June 3, and made a trip to hospital, where nurses confirmed she was in the early stages.

The couple returned to their Pwll home, but their soon-to-be daughter had other ideas.

Troy said: “At around 4.30am, Abigail developed a lot of pain and said she had an urge to push.

“I thought, ‘Right, this is happening’ and phoned an ambulance because I knew I’d be delivering the baby right there and then.”

It was Chris, a former RAF Aerospace Systems Operator, who picked up the call in the early hours of Friday, June 4.

The 29-year-old, who has been with the Welsh Ambulance Service for 18 months, said: “As soon as I answered the call, it was obvious that Troy and Abigail were in distress, as anyone would be in that situation.

“The priority was to get Abigail in a comfortable position to deliver the baby safely.

“For me, it was about giving them clear instructions while trying to keep them both calm.”

Troy added: “I just did what came naturally. When you’re in that situation, you just do it.

“As soon as Arabella came, I felt this wave of relief and I just couldn’t believe how gorgeous she was.

“Chris was so professional and handled the situation really well.

“He gave us all the information and kept us calm.”

Ambulance crews arrived soon after, and took Abigail to Carmarthen’s Glangwili General Hospital, where she was treated for shock before being discharged the following day.

Abigail said: “The whole thing was petrifying because I just never expected to be having the baby at home, but we’re so grateful to Chris for helping us to deliver Arabella safely.”

Chris added: “In your role as a 999 call handler, you’re helping people in their darkest hour, but I’m just glad this call had a happy ending.

“This is the third baby I’ve helped to deliver during my time at the ambulance service, but the first one I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”

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Covid causes partial school closure at Haverfordwest High VC

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A PARTIAL school closure is in force today at Haverfordwest High VC school after a pupil in year 9 has tested positive for coronavirus.

All students in year 9 must stay at home , isolate and await further instruction while the school completes all of the necessary Track and Trace processes.

In a statement released by the school, they said: “We have been informed that a Year 9 pupil has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We wish them a speedy recovery.

“As a precautionary measure and to enable us to complete all of the necessary Track and Trace processes, the school will be closed to Year 9 Pupils today.

“The school remains open to all other year groups.

“Until further notice, Year 9 students should stay at home and isolate until further instructions are given. Lessons for all other year groups will continue as usual. Unless your child is in Year 9 they should attend school.”

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