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.
Blue flags to fly high over Ceredigion beaches this summer
BLUE FLAGS will fly over five of Ceredigion’s most popular beaches this summer. Borth, Aberystwyth North, New Quay Harbour, Llangrannog and Tresaith beaches have once again been awarded the coveted Blue Flag for 2018.
In addition, Ceredigion’s beaches have been awarded 4 Green Coast awards and 13 Seaside Awards.
Blue Flag and Green Coast award beaches must meet the highest water quality standard and are judged for the provision of facilities for beach user and for demonstrating good management and safety provision.
The Seaside Award recognises beaches that have good public facilities, water quality, safety provision and management.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism has welcomed this year’s award announcement: “Once again, Ceredigion’s beaches have been recognised to be amongst the best, not only in Wales, but worldwide. The awards are a mark of quality and it’s great to see Blue Flags and Seaside Awards flags flying at Ceredigion’s most popular bathing beaches again this year. Although Ceredigion’s coastline and beaches attract visitors throughout the year, this is an excellent start to the traditional holiday season and we look forward to a busy summer.”
The following beaches have been awarded 2018 coastal awards:
Borth, Aberystwyth North, New Quay Harbour, Llangrannog, Tresaith
Borth, Clarach, Aberystwyth North, Aberystwyth South, Llanrhystud, New Quay Harbour, New Quay Dolau, Llangrannog, Cilborth – Llangrannog, Tresaith, Aberporth, Mwnt, Penbryn
Llanrhystud, Mwnt, Penbryn, Cilborth – Llangrannog
Wales’s coastal awards are administered by Keep Wales Tidy.
Police officers to have spit and bite guards from today
FROM today (May 18) front-line police officers across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys will be equipped with spit and bite guards.
Spit and bite guards, made from a loose-fitting, lightweight mesh fabric, are placed over a person’s head to help minimise the risks of diseases and injuries associated with spitting and biting.
This means if someone spits or bites, or threatens to spit or bite, officers have a new piece of equipment to protect themselves and others.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “Both spitting and biting are a particularly unpleasant form of assault and should not be considered by anyone to be an acceptable part of the job. Figures show there were 77 spit and bite incidents against Dyfed-Powys Police officers and staff in 2017 alone – more than six per month, on average.
“Assaults by spitting and biting can have long-term and distressing implications for officers, who sometimes have to take medication for many weeks afterwards to prevent infection.
“Use of force tactics, such as spit and bite guards, are there to protect not only the public but also for the safety of our officers, who face dangerous situations every day.
“It is imperative that we employ proportionate and appropriate tactics in each situation we face in order to achieve our number one objective, protecting the public.
“Our officers go through rigorous and continued training on tactics which are considered by the Home Office as a use of force. Officers are highly trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when necessary.
“The Chief Officer team has listened to concerns raised by officers as well as taking on board recent recommendations from the National Police Chief’s Council and have taken the decision that spit guards will be rolled out to all front line officers across the force, in line with 25 other police forces nationally.”
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, said: “Dyfed-Powys Police officers do their utmost to deliver invaluable services to the public, day in day out, no matter the circumstances. It is not right that they are subject to abuse whilst performing their duties, and it is our duty to protect those who strive to keep us safe and free from harm.
“In March 2018 I wrote to Members of Parliament to encourage them to support the passage on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill through the House of Commons. It is an important initiative which seeks to underline the importance of protecting emergency workers from assaults such as spitting and biting, and is a significant step in highlighting our mutual stance on this matter. It is of utmost importance that we take action to protect our police officers.”
College of Policing said: “Spit guards are for the protection of the arresting officer, other emergency service personnel and the public.
“It is recognised that the need to use spit guards or handcuffs during the restraint of an individual may cause distress to them and those who witness the arrest.
“However, as well as serving as protective equipment for the officer, it is also recognised that, by eliminating the risk of being spat on, bitten or the transmission of communicable diseases, the need for physical restraint may be reduced.
“As such, the risk of serious physical injury to the individual being arrested, is also reduced.
“The College has recently led a national review of the Personal Safety Training given to officers, which includes a section on spit guards and the medical implications of their use.
“As with all use of force, it will be for the arresting officer to justify their actions in each individual circumstance. The availability and use of equipment such as spit guards remain a local decision for each chief constable.”
Motorcyclist airlifted to hospital following crash
A MOTORCYCLIST who was involved in a single-vehicle incident on the A482 was airlifted to hospital.
The incident, which happened at approximately 6pn yesterday (May 17), took place between Pumsaint and Lampeter.
The rider of the Triumph motorcycle was airlifted to Morriston Hospital in Swansea by the Wales Air Ambulance.
The helicopter landed in a nearby field.
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at shortly after 5.50pm on Thursday to reports of a road traffic collision involving a motorbike on the A482 near Lampeter.
“We sent a Wales Air Ambulance and a crew in an emergency ambulance and a man was airlifted to Morriston Hospital in Swansea in a stable condition.”
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