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.”
David Davies Llandinam show comes to Tregaron
THERE will be a special opportunity for the people of Tregaron to learn about one of Wales’ most successful industrialists, David Davies Llandinam with a performance by the drama company “Mewn Cymeriad”.
To celebrate David Davies’ link with the area, Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion, Cymdeithas Hanes Tregaron and Clwb Plant Capel Bwlchgwynt have organised a performance of the family friendly show “David Davies Llandinam”.
David Davies was born in Llandinam, Montgomeryshire but he had an influence across Wales. He built railways across the country including the Manchester and Milford Railway that connected Tregaron with Aberystwyth and Carmarthen by using a huge amount of Cardiganshire wool to lay the rails across Cors Caron.
In addition to being an astoundingly successful entrepreneur, David Davies Llandinam was the MP for Cardiganshire between 1874 and 1886. Nine years previously, he stood against one of Tregaron’s hero, Henry Richard to be the local Liberal Party candidate for the 1865 Election.
Councillor Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Culture, “The history of David Davies Llandinam is very interesting. It’s wonderful to see organisations coming together to put on this show in Tregaron and Mewn Cymeriad following this character’s fascinating story.”
Mewn Cymeriad is a drama company that travels across Wales to present one actor shows full of fun and excitement to children about historic characters such as Barti Ddu, the Lord Rhys, Hedd Wyn and Owain Glyndŵr. The David Davies show was written by Mewn Cymeriad’s founder Eleri Twynog Davies and the show is performed by the actor Ioan Hefin who has starred in programmes such as Hidden, Gwaith Cartref and Teulu.
The free show of David Davies Llandinam will be shown at Bwlchgwynt Vestry, Tregaron on Monday, 29 October at 7pm. Come to see the actor Ioan Hefin present a lively and interactive show about the man who brought the train to Tregaron. It is an interactive show that is aimed towards children aged 6 to 11 however it is suitable for the whole family.
For further Information, contact Steffan Rees, Cered’s Community Development Officer on 01545 572 350.
Visit to inspect new Active Travel works held
SUSTRANS CYMRU director, Steve Brooks visited recent work to the Aberystwyth Active Travel Network on 26 September. The network of pedestrian, cycling and general accessibility improvements has been developed in partnership with the Welsh Government and Sustrans.
Mr Brooks met with Councillor Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for Adult Services and the Council’s Sustainability Champion, as well as Council Officers. During the visit they discussed the work carried out so far and future work to improve the Active Travel Network in Ceredigion.
Councillor Williams praised the work undertaken to date, “It was a pleasure to meet with Sustrans colleagues and County Council officers. The excellent work that the County Council has done so far in Aberystwyth was showcased, with the aim of encouraging children to cycle, scoot and walk to school. The improvements do of course benefit everyone in the community by helping to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles whilst reducing traffic congestion and we had a useful discussion about further developing active travel initiatives across the whole of Ceredigion.”
Three towns in Ceredigion have been designated as Active Travel Settlements under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013. The Council carried out a public consultation during 2017 to identify and prioritise future improvements. As a result, walking and cycling routes are being improved incrementally through various Welsh Government grants as funding permits and subject to physical constraint.
Steve Brooks said, “Plascrug Primary is one of many schools in Ceredigion where Sustrans’ Active Journeys Programme is delivered and it’s great to see the positive difference made at these locations, in conjunction with improved routes and new scooter and cycle shelters installed by the County Council following successful grant funding from the Welsh Government. The Programme includes classroom activities where pupils can help influence future grant bids and also embraces a range of engaging activities which helps to build the confidence, enthusiasm and skills needed to help form new active travel habits. These activities and lessons support schools’ efforts in achieving Eco-Schools and Healthy Schools awards as well as working towards Sustrans School Mark award which recognises excellence in sustainable travel.”
The Council is also improving active travel opportunities outside these three settlements, such as near schools, employment sites and key tourism destinations.
Image: Left to Right: Sioned Lewis, Sustrans Cymru; Plascrug Primary School Pupils; Councillor Alun Williams; Steve Brooks, Sustrans Cymru; Gari Jones, Ceredigion County Council.
Free parking in Ceredigion for the three Saturdays before Christmas
PARKNG will be free in all Ceredigion County Council operated Pay and Display car parks on the three Saturdays preceding Christmas this year.
The development follows a decision made the by the Council’s Cabinet on 16 October 2018. Parking charges at Council operated Pay and Display car parks will be waived on 8, 15 and 22 December 2018.
The Cabinet Member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services, Councillor Dafydd Edwards said, “Christmas is a very important time of year for many small businesses in our towns. This decision will support people to prepare for the festivities locally and help small businesses compete with the increasing influence of online shopping.”
The decision contributes towards one of the Council’s corporate priorities of boosting the economy.
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