RESIDENTS in Aberystwyth and the surrounding area are being invited to a public drop-in event to discuss NHS proposals to fundamentally change the way healthcare services are provided for current and future generations.
The event will be held between 2pm-7pm at Morlan Centre, Aberystwyth SY23 2HH on Friday, May 18. This is an opportunity to say what you think about the proposals or to give new ideas.
Hywel Dda University Health Board has formally launched its ‘Big NHS Change’, a 12-week consultation aimed at making provision of local health and care better for communities.
The Health Board are asking residents across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, as well as the wider cross-border regions, to get involved and have a say on three proposals to improve the way care is provided for the population.
Hywel Dda Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “Our proposals for change could affect everyone in our area, from bumps and babies to older people and everyone in between, so we are asking you all to tell us what you think. Whether you are a patient, a carer, a family member, or one of the thousands of people who work for the Health Board – we want to hear from you.
“Last year we started a conversation with our population, our staff and with people we work with to provide care to explore what is important to us and to jointly think about how to best run services. We did this because we think it is the right thing to do to design our services together. We explored the opportunities we think are offered to us through modern medicine and advancements in technology and the expectations you have for us to improve.
“We also set out the significant challenges faced by the NHS which we must deal with to ensure it thrives and delivers for you and your family now and in the future. This means that we will have to make decisions about where we can provide services and know that there are going to be compromises to make, so that we make best use of our resources.”
Among the biggest challenges the health board currently faces are an ageing population, difficulty for many people in accessing services close to home, significant recruitment challenges – particularly specialist medical staff – and ageing hospital buildings which require a lot of maintenance to keep running.
To overcome these issues Hywel Dda say that they want to radically change the way they provide local health care services so that people are accessing most of the care and treatment they need in their local community, and are able to stay at home while they are getting treatment rather than having to go into hospital.
Reducing the number of main hospitals will mean having fewer medical rotas to fill, making it easier to attract clinicians to come and work in the area; it will also mean shorter waiting times and fewer cancellations, and more money for local and community health services.
In all three of the proposals, Bronglais District General Hospital will continue to provide services for mid Wales; a new major hospital will be built somewhere between Narberth and St Clears, and there will be 10 community hubs across the Health Board area.
Hywel Dda’s Executive Medical Director & Director of Clinical Strategy, Dr Phil Kloer, added: “The challenges we face are really significant. People are living longer, some with long-lasting health conditions, and we expect there to be many more older people who will need regular health care and social care.
“In our area some people live in towns and some in country areas, making it difficult for us to ensure that services are in the right place for people to access. Many people live a long way from services, so helping people to live at home while they have treatment can involve a lot of travel for health workers.
“We know that people want to be supported to manage their health in their own homes – about 4 out of every 10 hospital beds are filled by people who could be treated at home. Added to this is the fact that we’re finding it hard to get enough permanent staff, especially specialist medical staff, to come and work for us, and we also need to make fuller use of new technology such as computers, phones, telehealth and telecare.
“This is why we have come up with three proposals that we think are safe, viable and offer an improvement on what we currently have, and have launched a formal 12-week consultation to present these to you, to listen and talk to you further and take on board your views and ideas.
“We all have a shared passion for the NHS, our services, our history and our staff and we want to harness this to design, together with you, the best health service for our population. We are so grateful to those of you who have already been involved in this as patients, staff and members of our communities.”
Feedback will be independently analysed and considered before any formal proposal is put before the Health Board for decision on how to proceed later in 2018.
Parents saving on average £350 on childcare per month
Parents in Ceredigion have saved an average of £350 a month on childcare costs after the introduction of the Childcare Offer in September 2018.
Parents and guardians of three and four-year-old children living in Ceredigion can be eligible for the offer if they work the equivalent of 16 hours per week. This includes self-employed parents and seasonal workers.
The Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services, Councillor Catrin Miles said, “It’s great to see that the Childcare Offer is having such an impact across Ceredigion in the first few months. The savings will only increase as more parents register for the scheme. This will have a real positive effect on the lives of many parents. I urge anyone who thinks they are eligible to find out.”
Ceredigion County Council manages the scheme in the county, and will manage the scheme in neighbouring counties as the scheme is rolled out in 2019. The Welsh Government fund the Childcare Offer.
Parents and guardians who want to see if they are eligible can visit the Childcare Offer page on the Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/ChildcareOffer.
Police manhunt now extending beyond Dyfed-Powys region
POLICE looking for a man who attacked a police officer on Saturday afternoon have evidence to suggest he has now left the Dyfed-Powys force area.
The investigation team is now working with other forces as the operation to find him continues.
The man has been wanted by Dyfed-Powys Police since Saturday, when he attacked a police officer who stopped the car he was travelling in. The officer stopped the car based on information that he was connected with criminal activity in other areas.
Extensive searches have been carried out in Ceredigion, using the armed response unit, dog unit and NPAS helicopter, and officers now have evidence to suggest he is in another area.
A second man who was arrested following the incident has now been charged.
Wayne Dobson, aged 29, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage, aggravated vehicle taking and vehicle damage, and two counts of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
Chief Superintendent Peter Roderick said: “This has, and continues to be, a long and intense investigation, which now involves colleagues from other forces as efforts are focussed on locations outside Dyfed-Powys.
“We understand that there has been a high level of concern in our communities since Saturday afternoon, and we would like to thank the public for their patience as operations have been carried out across Ceredigion.
“Due to the nature of the enquiry, and information we have been working from, the level of detail about the wanted man that we have been able to release has been limited, but we have endeavoured to keep our communities updated as best we can.”
CCTV to return to Aberystwyth
ABERYSTWYTH is set to have it’s CCTV returned to the town.
The CCTV was scrapped in the town five years ago following a cost-cutting move by Ceredigion council.
Work is due to start this month with 10 state-of-the-art cameras, Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn have confirmed. The system was removed in 2014, despite strong opposition.
Rising crime rates and falling conviction rates, has seen a call for the reinstatement of the system ever since its removal.
Ceredig Davies, Aberystwyth Councillor has said: “Switching off the town’s CCTV cameras was a retrograde step, and as the councillor in whose ward all the cameras are located I looked forward to them being reinstated.
“I have had numerous conversations with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, on the matter and on behalf of residents and visitors to the town I applaud him on keeping his election pledge.”
When Dafydd Llewelyn took over from Christopher Salmon as Police and Crime Commissioner, he mad a key campaign pledge to return the CCTV to the town. Speaking on the reinstatement he said he was “very pleased” to stick to his promise.
He added “Aberystwyth is a busy town within the Dyfed Powys Police force area where CCTV is required to safeguard communities and assist in investigations.
“Crime mapping analysis has identified 10 locations for cameras for the town that I am delighted that work is to begin there very soon.
“A project of this nature is very intricate and complex. The CCTV project team is working team is working hard to keep the project moving along as swiftly as possible.
“Work starting in Aberystwyth marks the halfway point of the project.”
The removal of the old CCTV system is said to have saved Ceredigion council £150,000 a year.
The new CCTV system set to start in Aberystwyth is part of a larger project, which will see 120 cameras in 17 towns across the region by completion.
The images will be fed directly to a monitoring room at Dyfed Powys Police headquarters Llangunnor, Carmarthenshire where they will be monitored by dedicated staff.
Marie McAvoy, project manager said: “I am grateful to the team I work with for their continued determination to ensure this project is delivered for the benefit of the communities we serve.
“I am also grateful to Ceredigion County Council and North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency for their assistance and support in ensuring that this reinvestment in CCTV in Aberystwyth is delivered.”
Mark Collins, Chief Constable said: “I’m confident the system will prove to be an invaluable asset in preventing crime and responding to emerging incidents swiftly before they escalate.
“Evidence from the CCTV cameras will also no doubt prove an important investigative tool for officers.”
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