PATIENTS living in Ceredigion can now take advantage of a new pilot service aimed at making it easier to check if they have any sexual health worries without having to see a doctor or nurse.
The three-month ’Test and Go’ pilot is a minimal contact service for people who do not have any symptoms or concerns, but who would like to take a sexual health test for peace of mind.
Patients who request the service will be invited to a specialist clinic and given a pack with instructions to test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Blood tests for HIV and syphilis can also be carried out at this time if requested.
Patients will be shown to a bathroom where they are asked to provide a swab or sample, which they simply leave in a specimen container before they leave.
Results are usually sent to patients via text message within 7-10 days, and the text message will either explain that all results are negative – meaning that no infection has been found – or, the text message will advise patients to contact the clinic to make a further appointment.
Jonathan Stevens is currently studying as a medical student in Ceredigion. He is supportive of the scheme.
“I think people would normally be nervous about going to talk to their GP about anything regarding sexual health. It is sometimes the case that if they had gone sooner, they may have avoided a certain issue they are experiencing. I like the idea (of providing kits) – it means people have more access to checking for themselves, and that is a good thing.”
The scheme is designed not just to make keeping an eye on sexual health easier, but also to help ease the long waiting times being experienced by GPs.
Local GP Dr. Sue Fish is hoping the scheme will allow for a more patient awareness, allowing for more focused time spent with GPs.
She said: “It will ease the pressures on the GP service if more people can access kits through the sexual health clinics. There is currently limited access to the sexual health services in Aberystwyth and I am not aware that the proposed scheme will increase the number of appointments available. I hope however that it will increase the availability of appointments for patients who want to be screened.”
Lisa Humphrey, Service Delivery Manager for Sexual Health and Gynaecology at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Very often we find that patients might not have any specific symptoms to indicate a sexual health problem, but they still want to be screened anyway for their own peace of mind.
“The Test and Go pilot is about providing a quick and easy way for them to test themselves, without needing to see a doctor or nurse. This has the advantage of freeing up clinical and consultation times.”
The scheme has also received support from the social care sector. A spokesperson for Mencap, the nationwide learning disability support charity, welcomed the news.
They said: “Having discussed the scheme with several colleagues it can only be beneficial and a great support to all groups including the people we support. Mencap strive to support people to access all resources available to them within the community; a more simplified process and system will benefit all. More information regarding Test & Go would be very appreciated by the teams and some of the people we support.”
Hywel Dda’s Sexual Health Service offers open access and appointed clinics in a variety of locations offering contraception, sexual health screening, pregnancy testing, cervical screening and information and advice about sexual health. They can accessed in Ceredigion in both Aberystwyth’s North Road Clinic on Queen’s Avenue and the Cardigan & District Hospital.
For more information on ’Test and Go’ or to book an appointment, phone the Sexual Health Service on 01267 248674.
Man assaulted nurses while being restrained
A PRE-SENTENCE report will be prepared on a Ceredigion man who assaulted two nurses and destroyed an extractor fan.
Lewis Hill, aged 24, of Brynhoffnant, appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday (Aug 14) to plead guilty to the three charges.
Prosecuting, Mr Vaughan Pritchard-Jones told the Court: “At 11pm in the evening on January 30, the defendant was on the roof of Bronglais Hospital threatening to jump off. Police and medical personnel attended and were able to talk him down.
“He was taken to the Cwm Seren ward in St Davids Park, Carmarthen, where they arrived at 1:03am the following morning. During the course of being assessed he became aggressive and had to be restrained by staff. He kicked out at the first nurse and was then put on the floor.
“Whilst on the floor he was throwing his head back and forth and the staff nurse, who was concerned for him, tried to hold his head but he continued to throw his head and because of the force he was using he trapped her finger onto the floor.
“The charge did originally read as common assault but the nurse went to get her finger x-rayed which revealed the fracture.
“After that incident he got free and he started damaging an extractor fan which he completely destroyed.
“I am not sure why the case has taken so long to come here but at the time of the offence he was on a suspended prison sentence, the period for which has now elapsed.”
Defending, Mrs Katie Hanson added: “He is extremely sorry for his actions on that night. He was on the roof of Bronglais Hospital trying to commit suicide. There are serious mental health issues but he accepts he was struggling on the floor but he did not intentionally hurt anyone and he apologises for his actions.”
Magistrates ordered that a pre-sentence report be prepared and Hill was released on unconditional bail and must return to court on Wednesday, August 29 for sentencing.
Cardigan Classic Car Club returns with 3-Counties Run
Cardigan Classic Car Club will be holding it’s annual 3-Counties Run on Sunday (Aug 26).
There will be an excellent display of classic post war cars, plus a few dating from before the war. Cars will be gathering between 10.00 and 11.00am on The Strand, Cardigan, that stretch of road between the castle and the river for those who would like to go along to view the cars and have a chat. If you have a suitable car, why not join in?
For those who would like to pop along to see the cars as they travel through, they will start by driving through Cardigan at 11.00am, and their route will take them up the by-pass and onto the Fishguard road.
They will turn right onto the Nevern road at the 5-ways junction, arriving in Nevern circa 11.20am.
They will then turn back towards Eglwyswrw on the A487, and travel towards Boncath and Cenarth, arriving there about Midday.
A few minutes later they will pass through Newcastle Emlyn heading for Ffostrasol, then down the A486 to Horeb where they turn left on the Lampeter road to Prengwyn heading for their lunch stop at Talgarreg.
World War 2 ordnance found on beach
AN unexploded World War Two bomb was found on Ynyslas and had to be removed by Borth Coastguard yesterday (Aug 14).
There was a controlled detonation of the ordnance.
Borth Coastguard posted on Facebook saying: “Call out today with reports of ordnance. Borth Coastguard Rescue Team assisted the EODU with the safe removal of the item with a controlled detonation.
“Unexploded bombs from WWII are regularly found along this stretch of coastline, as Ynyslas used to be an MoD testing site.
“If you find anything you suspect could be ordnance, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Do not move the object.”
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