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Extra NHS funding for care services

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nhsHYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD has had a funding boost of £286,440 and a share of central funding to improve primary care services in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The funding is part of a £3.5 million package for health boards across Wales, the Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Monday (Nov 3). Providing eye care services closer to people’s homes; preventing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease; developing the skills of the primary care providers; and reducing health inequalities though community action in our most deprived communities are to benefit from the funding.

The funding is being made available in 2014-15 from central Welsh Government funds. Following a round of spending proposals from all the health boards in Wales the Minister has approved schemes including of the use of £2 million to improve and develop the skills of NHS primary staff.

These include medicine management, developing GP skills in cardiology, dermatology and palliative care, nurse led phlebotomy, pharmacists support for nurses and GPs, advanced nurse practice, improving access to primary care and pulmonary disease, including bronchitis and emphysema, rehabilitation in community settings closer to people’s homes.

The Minister has also agreed supports for more local eye care services, with £600,000 going to the seven health boards to provide an additional 7,274 eye appointments including cataracts, glaucoma and agerelated macular degeneration. One of the wider benefits of providing these services locally will be to free up hospital appointments. In Hywel Dda, £206,000 is being provided for education and training and £80,440 to provide 624 optometrist-led triage appointments to reduce demand for new ophthalmology referrals and post-op appointments.

Advance Practice Training will get £300,000 to develop a multidisciplinary primary care workforce, which makes more effective use of GPs’ time and expertise. The funding will help train more advanced nurses, therapists and clinical pharmacists to work in primary care to support GPs. Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “These schemes will improve the quality of service provided by GPs, nurses, pharmacists and therapists to patients. Improving local, targeted services will help reduce the inequalities in health and tackle poverty, both of which are key Welsh Government priorities and are linked to poor health.

By providing a ‘closer to home’ health service which is better integrated with social care and has close links with services provided by the third and independent sectors we will reduce inequalities in health. This funding will help to create a strong, highly-trained primary care workforce, which can deliver a widerange of services in local communities, reducing our dependence on hospitalbased care. It will also see more follow-up eye appointments provided closer to patients’ homes instead of in a hospital setting.”

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Man accused of sexually assaulting six-year-old girls

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A FORMER Penparcau man is to stand trial accused of sexually assaulting two six year old girls.

Raymond Albert Wardall, 55, now of Blaenllynant Lodge, Queens Road, Aberystwyth, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Wardall denied a total of eight charges of sexual assault and sexual touching.

He will stand trial on November 27 and was granted bail until then.

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Alerts issued ahead of Storm Brian

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NATURAL RESOURCE WALES (NRW) is warning people that parts of the Welsh coast could see localised flooding as Storm Brian combines with high tides this evening and tomorrow.

The conditions could cause a storm surge, which in some areas could lead to overtopping of sea defences. Current predictions show that the worst affected areas are likely to be along exposed sections of the west coast of Wales from Southern Gwynedd to Llantwit Major.

High tides in these locations are expected to peak between 6am and 11am tomorrow (Oct 21).

NRW has already issued a number of flood alerts for the west coast, and is likely to issue flood warnings for Aberystwyth and Newgale later today. Further alerts or warnings for other areas will be issued as necessary.

24/7 Emergency response workers from NRW will be out at key areas of the coast over the next couple of day to monitor the high tides and condition of its sea flood defences.

NRW has also contacted its partner agencies such as local councils and the emergency services to ensure that appropriate responses are in place should the need arise.

Richard Hancox, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Conditions across the coastline are likely to be extremely dangerous this weekend and we urge people to stay clear, and avoid visiting the coast during this time.

“We know people are tempted to try and take photos of these storms, but it really isn’t worth putting your life at risk. Sea spray and flood water can knock you off your feet easier than you might think, and the large waves can send debris flying onto shore.

“If anyone is concerned about the risk of flooding to their home, please check to see if flood warnings are available in your area, and visit our website for advice on how best to prepare.”

Flood alerts and flood warnings are updated on the Natural Resources Wales website every 15 minutes.

Information and updates are also available by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. People can also register for free flood warnings either by calling the Floodline number or at NRW’s website.

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​Major bequests for Aber research ​

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TWO major legacies to support postgraduate research have been announced at Aberystwyth University’s Founders’ Day held in the Old College on October 13.

The University revealed that Eleanor and David James had donated £2m to the institution where they both worked for 35 years, while former student Margaret Wooloff has bequeathed £400,000.

Both bequests will be used to fund postgraduate research at the University, in line with the wishes of the benefactors.

The legacies were announced as part of the University’s now annual Founders’ event, which echoes the celebrations held in the town back in October 1872 when the first students arrived at Old College.

The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “It is extremely fitting that these very special bequests have been the focal point of this year’s Founders’ Day event. They remind us how the University has been supported since its early beginnings by the generosity of the people of Wales and the wider world.

“Eleanor and David James, and Margaret Wooloff all dedicated their lives to the furtherance of knowledge and their valuable contributions to education in Wales will live on in their legacies. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

The Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Aberystwyth University, Louise Jagger, said: “There is a very strong bond between the University and our family of alumni across the world. Eleanor and David James and Margaret Wooloff were all active members of the Old Students’ Association during their lives and we are immensely grateful to them for their support over the years. Their generous legacies will now enable the scholars of the future to pursue their particular fields of expertise and undertake research with impact, which is integral to our mission as a leading University.”

Members of the local community joined staff and students at the Old College to mark Founders’ Day.

The guest speaker at the event was Ceredigion MP Ben Lake who said: “The story of how Aberystwyth University – or the University College of Wales as it was originally called – is one in which we can all take pride as a nation. Driven by the vision of its founders, the dream of establishing a college with University status in Wales was made possible thanks to the generosity of ordinary people. The roots and foundations of the University reflect our values in Wales and it is vitally important that we commemorate and celebrate this very special heritage.

“May I take this opportunity to congratulate Aberystwyth on being named recently as the University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Good University Guide – a well deserved accolade which is testament to the dedication of all its staff.”

In July 2017, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced that it had earmarked £10.5m for ambitious plans to redevelop Old College in time for the University’s 150th anniversary in 2022.

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