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Board denies Bronglais petition claims



Bronglais has not lost SCBU/Paediatric services: Medical Director Phil Kloer

Bronglais has not lost SCBU/Paediatric services: Medical Director Phil Kloer

AN ONLINE petition asking for the ‘return’ a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and complaining about the withdrawal of paediatric services at Bronglais Hospital, has caused ‘concern’ at the local health board.

The petition, on 38 Degrees, complains about the absence of SCBU services at Bronglais and says that the policy of centralising services at Glangwili: “has had a completely negative and adverse impact on health care in Ceredigion and other areas covered by Bronglais, with many families being forced to travel for an hour or more to reach the health care they desperately need at Glangwili.”

The petition goes on to say that: “Lives have been put at risk and will continue to be so by the removal of services in the Ceredigion catchment area. Severely ill children that would otherwise be seen locally and stabilised locally, are now having to wait many hours for a Paediatric team based either in Newport or Bristol to travel to Aberystwyth and then take the child to a hospital over an hour away at least, assuming that an incubator or bed is available at Carmarthen.

“The problems that the current centralisation policy have caused are horrendous to families and needs addressing immediately with the utmost urgency. We need all our health services back now starting with 24 hour continuation/return Obstetric and Paediatric Consultant cover in the quickest possible time.” The petition gained over 1,600 signatures since being launched on the week of April 22.

The Herald asked Hywel Dda University Health Board to comment on the petition and enquired whether any changes to service, including withdrawal of existing services, were planned for Bronglais.

In a forthright response, the Health Board denied that any changes to services were planned and suggested the petition’s terms of reference were ‘inaccurate’.

Health Board Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer said: “We have read with concern some inaccurate comments on social media recently in response to an online petition which calls for ‘the return of 24-hour paediatrics to Bronglais General Hospital.”

“To be absolutely clear, Bronglais Hospital continues to have 24 hour, seven day a week consultant led inpatient paediatric services.

“The petition makes reference to Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU/ or neonatal) services at Bronglais Hospital and implies that babies from the Ceredigion area are transferred elsewhere in Wales as a direct consequence of changes to services in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire in 2014. This is not the case.

“Whilst Bronglais Hospital has a joint consultant and midwife-led maternity unit, it does not have a SCBU and has never been a formal receiving hospital for special care babies. Clinical protocols are in place to minimise the potential for premature births at the hospital. In the event of a premature birth, facilities are available to stabilise and transfer babies either for special care at the SCBU in Carmarthen.

“Only babies requiring tertiary, specialist neonatal care are transferred to units in Swansea, Cardiff or Newport, as usual. These levels of neonatal services have never been available at any of the hospitals across the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.”

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Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’



A DRIVER high on drugs caused 15 miles of chaos as he approached Aberystwyth on the A44.

Brian Pitts hit an oncoming lorry and road signs as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

A car passenger filmed him because she was sure a serious accident was about to happen.

Pitts, aged 57, of Delmont Close, Tipton, west Midlands, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs he had taken.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on June 16 last year Pitts had been driving his Rover MGZR, towing a trailer full of wooden fencing posts, towards Aberystwyth from his home.

Richard Brooks followed the car through Llangurig and became so concerned he telephoned the police while his wife Victoria filmed Pitts on her mobile.

The Rover collided with a 13 tonne lorry driven by Andrew Paxton but failed to stop.

Pitts failed to take a roundabout and hit road signs and an embankment but still carried on.

During the 15 miles, said Mr Pulling, oncoming traffic had to swerve off the carriageway to avoid a collision.

Several motorists telephoned the police to report what they were witnessing, he added.

Pitts came to a stop in the middle of the road and another motorist snatched the keys out of the ignition–and noticed that Pitts had been driving with a dog on his lap.

Mr Pulling said police officers could tell there was something wrong with Pitts, but an alcohol text showed he was below the limit.

“He was clearly unfit,” said Mr Pulling, although it was still unclear what drugs he had taken.

Pitts was taken to Aberystwyth police station and then to Bronglais hospital, where he appeared to recover after treatment. But he soon deteriorated and had to be taken back to the hospital.

Pitts developed pneumonia and had to be kept in for nine days.

His barrister, Tom Scapens, said when Pitts had been shown the mobile telephone footage he felt physically sick.

Judge T Mervyn Hughes jailed Pitts for 10 months and banned him from driving for four years.

He told him, “If you had not been stopped I am quite sure you would have caused serious injury if not death.”

Pitts was told to pass an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

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Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved



In a Full Council meeting on 22 February 2018, the Council unanimously supported a motion to reduce the use of plastic and to support plastic reduction initiatives in Ceredigion.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong and was seconded by Councillor Gethin Davies. The motion calls on Ceredigion County Council to support the various ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns throughout the county by reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and to promote the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events.

Councillor Mark Strong said, “I’m delighted that the Council unanimously supported the motion. This is an important step for the Council but we must carry on to reduce plastic use. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic. Carrying out small acts such as buying milk from your local milkman supports the local economy but in turn also supports our environment by using reusable glass bottles.”

The motion also calls on the Council to encourage local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives as well as to support beach cleans and other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics under the “Plastic Free”, Caru Ceredigion, Tidy Towns or any similar initiative.

The motion was amended in the meeting to include the establishment of a Members’ Task and Finish group to support measures to reduce the Council’s use of plastic and to support initiatives in the county that reduce plastic use.

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures



A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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