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Health staff recognised for improvements

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Hywel-Dda-Health-BoardTHE LOCAL health board has announced the three finalists in the ‘Improving Health and Wellbeing’ category at this year’s Best of Health staff awards. The Best of Health awards are organised annually by the University Health Board to recognise and reward the extraordinary achievements of its staff and volunteers, many of whom often go beyond the call of duty in their work for the benefit of patients and service users. This year, 100 entries were received from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

The winners will be announced at the Best of Health Awards ceremony, sponsored by Health Shield at Parc Y Scarlets in Llanelli on Friday 16 January. Lisa Gostling, Director of Workforce & Organisational Development said: “These nominations reflect just some of the high quality patient care provided by many of our staff and volunteers and highlight the fantastic efforts and achievements above and beyond their normal day-to-day work. I wish all the nominees the very best of luck.”

The ‘Improving Health and Wellbeing’ category, sponsored by Health Shield, seeks to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of others and addressing health inequalities and the finalists for 2014 are: At Risk Mental State (ARMS) Pilot supports the development of very early intervention services designed to work with youngsters with pre-psychotic conditions often called At Risk Mental States (ARMS). To this end the Early Intervention in Psychosis Service has partnered with the Ceredigion Local Primary Care Mental Health Service to assess and deliver therapy to this client group. ARMS is designed specifically to offer much needed evidence based interventions to a population who often find it extremely difficult to access services at this stage of their psychosis, and who research and evidence shows if they are given this level of timely specialist interventions have a very high percentage chance of not developing a psychosis.

ARMS is the first time this sort of collaboration has been developed in Wales is compliant with the Welsh Mental Health Measure and the NICE Guidance for Schizophrenia and allows patients and their carers access to a ‘state of the art service’ in rural Wales. The Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Service is a specialist community mental health resource offering evidence based interventions to individuals between the ages of 14 to 35 (and often their families/carers) who have a First Episode Psychosis (FEP), established psychosis within the first three years of diagnosis or an At Risk Mental State i.e. prepsychotic difficulties. The First Episode Psychosis service is designed to offer NICE Guidance specific treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis, Behavioural Family Interventions, structured Relapse Prevention (RP), physical health monitoring and a non-stigmatising, person centred service designed to improve the recipient’s health and wellbeing.

To date only two services in Wales have been developed and Hywel Dda University Health Board has developed a Hub and Spoke Service, offering EIP in each of the three counties led and managed by a central hub. The Clinical Lead for Psychosis Services at Hywel Dda is also the Welsh National Lead for FEP, a Member of the 1000Lives Plus Faculty and an Improvement Associate. He has and still is helping partner Health Boards across Wales to develop their own FEP service, and sits on a number of Welsh HB FEP Development Committees. Carmarthenshire Integrated Evidence Based Exercise Continuum for Frail Older Adults are finalists for working in collaboration with the leisure department of the Local Authority allowing the appointment of a Health and Activity Coordinator for Older Adults to facilitate Postural Stability Instruction (PSI) and Otago (OEP), the only programmes that are clinically proven to promote functional gain and reduce the risk of falls in frail adults. Since the introduction of the first PSI programme in Llanelli, the service has developed and now supports the delivery of nine sessions in community venues across Carmarthenshire.

The sessions are now not limited to PSI but also encompass Exercise following Stroke (EfS), long term neurological conditions as well as cardiac rehabilitation, recognising that for frail adults ‘one size does not fit all’. The awards are sponsored by Health Shield Friendly Society Ltd and Chief Executive of Health Shield Jonathan Burton said: “It is a big achievement to be recognised for the great work that you do in any profession, but even more so at the Hywel Dda Best of Health Staff Awards. On behalf of all of us here at Health Shield I would like to say congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted. “We would like to wish everyone the best of luck in the awards, and well done for reaching this stage. You deserve all the recognition you get as I know that you regularly go above and beyond the call of duty.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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