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‘Flying doctors’ get improved landing sites

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HELICOPTER landing sites across Wales will be improved so they are available 24 hours a day in preparation for the launch of the country’s new ‘Flying

Landing site improvements: Wales Air Ambulance.

Landing site improvements: Wales Air Ambulance.

Doctors’ service – EMRTS Cymru – in April, Welsh Labour’s Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced.
A number of hospitals in Wales have existing helicopter landing sites but only three currently support 24-hour-a-day landings – Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Rhyl, and Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
Welcoming the news, Rebecca Evans AM said: “The new flying doctors service will help deliver emergency response teams to rural areas across Wales, and the development of the landing sites to enable them to be used 24 hours a day will ensure that the service can be used to its full potential. Wales is blessed with some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in the World but the geography and topography also makes travel challenging. The flying doctor service will help bring emergency treatment to those who need it quickly.”
The £180,000 investment announced means helicopter landing sites, which have already been cleared for day landings, will become available for night landings. They will rely on rural volunteer or hospital response teams to deploy temporary landing lights and windsocks when alerted to the arrival of an aircraft. The initial sites to be supported include:
• Bronglais Hospital, in Aberystwyth – Penglais School playing fields, Waunfawr, Aberystwyth;
• Withybush Hospital, in Haverfordwest – Haverfordwest Airport;
• Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen – existing offsite helipad;
• Singleton Hospital, in Swansea – field behind Singleton Fire station;
Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “Our aim is for the most seriously-injured and sick patients in Wales to be treated by the very best clinicians, providing world-class, life-saving treatment. In the future, these highly-specialised services will be provided at fewer hospitals but they will be supported by a network of local hospitals, offering people access to local emergency care.

The EMRTS Cymru service will transform our ability to provide the very best care to the most critically-ill patients in Wales. It will provide patients – especially those in remote and rural areas of Wales – with rapid access to the skills of a consultant in emergency or intensive care medicine, who are equipped to provide life-saving, specialist critical care. The enhancement of helicopter landing sites across Wales is an integral part of the work to ensure timely delivery of the EMRTS Cymru team and special

ist equipment to those patients. It will allow EMRTS Cymru teams to access local hospitals and transfer patients to a major trauma centre. It is also an opportunity to support the vision of the Wales Air Ambulance charity to increase their operational activity and future 24/7 air capability.”
A further 27 sites across Wales are being surveyed to provide rendezvous points for helicopters and ground vehicles.

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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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