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Care project brings patients ‘closer to home’

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janehunt

Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt

A MENTAL health rehabilitation and recovery project in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion has brought mental health patients closer to home and saved the local health board more than £500,000 per annum, the Finance Minister said today (Oct 7). The scheme is being highlighted as one of many Invest to Save schemes that has helped deliver better front-line services to people and save the public sector money. Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt has today launched the next round of Invest to Save funding with over £20m available for new investments in 2015-16.

The successful fund helps public sector organisations deliver improvements to front-line services across Wales and generate cash efficiency savings. Since the fund was launched in 2009, the total value of investments made by the Fund stands at almost £100m, benefitting 94 projects. Jane Hutt said: “This fund is a major success story for Wales through projects like the Mid and West Wales Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Reconfiguration. Independent research has shown that the fund delivers a gross return of £3 for every £1 invested and is helping organisations across Wales to deliver vital improvements to public services across all areas of the public sector. “That is why we are investing over £20m in 2015-16 so that organisations can continue to achieve their ambition of releasing savings and improving services.

In a time of scarce funds, organisations need to work together to become more resourceful. The Invest to Save Fund will play a key role in assisting to address the financial and effective service delivery challenges we all face.” The mental health project built on work developed by Hywel Dda Local Health Board to focus on delivering care “closer to home” and return people with mental health issues from high cost placements outside of their local area.

Some were being treated in England. As a result of the Invest to Save Funding, building on an existing platform and intervention model, the project received a significant boost allowing it to decommission a longterm rehabilitation ward deemed unfit for purpose and invest the savings to deliver a range of actions including: The growth of accommodation to support repatriation of out-of-area parents;

Development of local mental health services including alternatives to inpatient care such as a therapeutic day service and crisis accommodations options; Considering options for older adults and community provision; and, Opening of a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit and Acute “Assess to Admit” Unit in 2012. The £564,000 “pump-priming” Invest to Save project, which helped improve mental health services in Mid and West Wales, ran from 2010-13 and resulted in 30 people being “brought home” for their care, where they were nearer their families.

The savings in travel costs and time were re-invested into core service budgets including investment in staff and the creation of more bed spaces. Additional benefits were reduced length of stay as a result of patients being close to home and family and providing a Welsh language environment. The Invest to Save part of the £2m service helped generate annual savings from 2010-11 of £541,000. Jane Hutt said: “The Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Reconfiguration project is a great example of how Invest to Save Funding can drive efficiency savings and improve services. I encourage public sector organisations to find out more and bid for the new round of investment.” Applications for the 2014 bidding round have been opened and expressions of interest are sought by 7 January.

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Community

Time given to develop Parc Natur Penglais

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New steps: At Parc Natur Penglais

VOLUNTEERS, including students, have given around 500 hours of their time to develop Parc Natur Penglais.

Along with support from Ceredigion County Council, the Group have built around 100 steps in 5 different places which has made the park a great place to walk, play and enjoy around a number of safe paths.

Councillor Mark Strong said: “Knowing that we have the support of the local community makes such a difference to peoples’ enthusiasm and having the grant from Aberystwyth Town Council, Cambrian News and Tesco made it possible. Volunteers can make a relatively small sum of money go long way.”

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​RSPCA aim for Christmas number one​

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'Stars' by Lucy Ellie​: Help it get to number one

M​USIC fans across Wales can help the RSPCA secure the Christmas number one slot, and provide vital support for animals in need across the country.

The animal welfare charity has thrown its hat into the ring to claim the festive chart accolade – as up-and-coming singer Lucy Ellie covers Simply Red’s hit song ​’​Stars​’​ in aid of the RSPCA.

‘Stars’ is the soundtrack to the charity’s ‘Kindness at Christmas’ video, which has already gone viral with over ​two million views online across a variety of platforms.

The tear-jerking video tells the story of Woody the Christmas toy pup who who is thrown out with the rubbish before being rescued and taken in for care by the RSPCA.

Proceeds from the single are being donated to the RSPCA to help in their work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals every year.

RSPCA Cymru is again bracing itself for a busy festive period. In December 2016 and January 2017 alone, in Wales, 5,932 incidents were reported to the RSPCA – with 141 of these on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Lucy Ellie Cooper, who works at the charity, said: “This was a lovely opportunity for me to combine my two loves – animals and music.

“Outside of my job at the RSPCA I am a country music singer and songwriter, so when the chance came up to record such a fantastic and well-known song for the charity’s Christmas video, I jumped at it. I really hope people will take Woody’s story into their hearts and support the RSPCA this winter.”

You can help the RSPCA rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals in desperate need of care, and support the charity’s ‘kindness’ campaign online

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Charity games raise over £2000

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Team Tesco: Raised over £2000 through three football games

NOT all heroes wear capes and Tesco Aberystwyth’s very own Community Champion, Natasha Worrall has proven this raising a staggering £2,096.27 for local and national charities.

Natasha, the brainchild behind the charity football events, came up with the idea first off by challenging Tesco’s neighbours, Marks and Spencer’s, to a football match, she quickly set her powers to work and contacted Aberystwyth Football club who were more than happy to help and allowed use of the pitch.

The Big Day arrived, there was a lot of tension and passion on the pitch that night, it was more than just about winning a match it was the status, the pride and most of all bringing people together to raise money for three great causes; Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Mind. Hundreds of supporters braved the cold October evening to support the players and Tesco stole the show with a 7-1 victory and an amazing £607 was raised.

Natasha now had a taste of success under her cape and wanted to really get this event of the ground and challenged supermarket rivals, Morrisons to a match! The response for Tesco vs Morrisons was just what Natasha wanted and a November date was set.

Tesco now had experience in their boots and both teams had everything to play for. Victory once again went to Tesco who pipped Morrisons at the post and clawed back to a 5-4 victory raising a further £648.15 for Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Clic Sargent.

In true football fashion Natasha wanted a hat trick but could Team Tesco achieve this? Last Sunday (Dec 3) seemed the perfect opportunity and the opponents who were up for the challenge came from Bronglais Hospital and their chosen charity Pila Pala, Llwyn yr Eos. What a match! And what great team to take victory, Hywel Dda 2 – Tesco – 0. A rematch could certainly be on the cards especially as they raised the biggest amount ever of £841.12.

Behind every success there is always great team and working with Natasha and the players a number of local heroes who helped, Ruth’s kitchen provided heroic meals for all the players for a £1 donation, Aberystwyth women’s Team loaned their footballs, the Referees, linesmen, stewards, security, first aiders and ball boys and girls who all donated their time free of charge.

Team Tesco are looking for more opponents to play and raise even more money for local charities, if you are interested please call into Tesco store and see Natasha.

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