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Wales urged to get ready for winter by choosing well and planning ahead

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GETTING ready for winter with personal health planning and choosing the right service for advice on prevention and treatment is vital as we approach a challenging time for the health service in Wales, said the Health Secretary Vaughan Gething at the launch of the Choose Well campaign this week (Nov 5).
This winter’s campaign includes a focus on the role of community pharmacists across Wales. Pharmacists are engaging with people to offer advice, promote key health messages and help people with complex medical conditions to complete a personal health plan to get ready for winter.
Choose Well, Choose Pharmacy this Winter aims to highlight the wide range of services available, which people may not be aware of, close to their homes and often at more convenient times in the evenings and weekends.
Mr Gething said: “Making the right choice of health service and advice will save you time and make sure you and your family get the right care quickly. In many cases pharmacists can provide confidential advice and treatment without the need to make an appointment.
“Health service staff will be working hard this winter – and we all have a part to play by Choosing Well.”
The My Winter Health Plan pack is aimed at helping people with long-term physical or mental health conditions provide vital information for visiting health professionals to allow more people to be seen and treated at home and avoid unnecessary trips to A&E.
Pharmacists will be able to sit down with patients to help them complete the form which includes information such as their emergency contacts and a list of their conditions.
The Welsh Government is working with Public Health Wales and Community Pharmacy Wales to ensure packs are available at all community pharmacies, more than 700 across Wales. The packs, which also provide useful tips to stay safe, warm and well in the winter, are also being distributed by Age Cymru and health boards.
Mr Gething, launching the campaign at Mayberry Pharmacy, Penarth, with pharmacist Elaine Hill, said: “Community pharmacists across Wales will be playing a vital role in advising you and your family on many common ailments, coughs or colds this winter.”
Penarth pharmacist Elaine Hill said: “Community pharmacists are playing an increasing role in providing support and advice to people in a convenient setting closer to people’s homes.
“One of the new services Mayberry’s is offering this year is a care home visiting service to provide flu vaccines to residents in the comfort of their homes.
“Pharmacies like ours can provide a range of services including face to face healthcare advice without the need to make an appointment, treatment for a range of common ailments including coughs, colds, sore throats, diarrhoea, runny nose, head lice, upset stomachs and headaches. We also offer confidential consultations with a qualified pharmacist in a private setting within the pharmacy.”
NHS Wales Chief Executive Andrew Goodall said that as winter approaches, it was important we all play our part in choosing well by making the right decisions on where to get advice and treatment when we are unwell to help ease pressure on  hospital emergency departments and receive help quicker and nearer to home.
Dr Goodall said: “Pharmacies, NHS Direct, opticians, dentists, Minor Injury Units, health visitors, community nurses, midwives and GP practices, can all provide quick and easy-to-access advice and treatment when looking after yourself at home isn’t enough. You can often do this in your local high street without the need to make an appointment.
“Making the right choice not only saves you time and ensures you and your loved ones get the right care quickly but it also helps NHS staff who will be working hard this winter.
“If you have a serious life-threatening emergency call 999 or go to A&E. But if not, consider the wide range of other options.”
Mark Griffiths, Chair of Community Pharmacy Wales, said: “Choose Well is a great example of community pharmacies working with Welsh Government and other primary care colleagues to help improve the health of people in Wales. You don’t have to make an appointment, and you can go along at a time that suits you, and your consultation will always be with a qualified pharmacist and will take place in a confidential area within the pharmacy. That’s why Choose Well is the best choice for people this winter.”
The NHS Direct Wales online symptom checker can also provide useful information on what treatment or service you need – www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk or speak to somebody at NHS Direct 0845 46 47 or 111 where available. Parents with children under 12 can use the Choose Well web site for advice http://www.choosewellwales.org.uk

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D-Day anniversary offer for veterans

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FOLLOWING the first meeting of 2019, the Ceredigion Armed Forces Community Covenant (CAFCC) wishes to endorse Royal British Legion’s generous offer of providing a fully-funded tour back to the beaches for 300 D-Day veterans.

June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Following the CAFCC meeting, Councillor Paul Hinge, Ceredigion’s Armed Forces Champion said, “This most generous gesture is fantastic, everyone of those eligible to travel is a nonagenarian 90+ year old and this trip will be a fitting way to say ‘thank you’ for their contribution as the Allies won WW2.”

The Royal British Legion, in partnership with Arena Travel, have chartered a ship, the MV Boudicca, to provide a fully funded tour for 300 D-Day Veterans from 02 June until 09 June. Each veteran will be able to bring one carer who will also be fully funded.

Veterans interested in applying for the trip need to complete the eligibility form by Monday 4 February 2019. The eligibility form and more details of the event can be found online at: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/community/d-day-75/

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Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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Newcastle Emlyn woman to brave the shave for charity

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TO MARK her 50th birthday, a Newcastle Emlyn woman will brave the shave to raise money for Diabetes UK Cymru.

On January 26, Newcastle Emlyn’s Coopers Arms will be the venue where Yvonne Lloyd’s shoulder length hair will hit the deck, as it is shaved off by hairdresser Pamela Atterbury. Mayor of Newcastle Emlyn Cefin Evans will make the first cut, in an evening that will include a buffet, raffle and live music from local band Back Tracks.

Yvonne, a waitress at Ty Croeso Delicatessen, said: “My son Tristan, now 25, developed Type 1 diabetes when he was at university. However well managed, it is a life-changing condition which you can never forget.

“He was diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by extremely high blood sugar. It can be fatal if not treated immediately. He was in hospital for four days and now relies on four insulin injections a day.

“I’m having my head shaved, not just to raise money, but also to educate people. There are a lot of myths about diabetes and how it can affect your life.”

The hair cut will start at 8.30pm on Saturday January 26 at the Coopers Arms, Station Road, Newcastle Emlyn. Entry costs £5 and doors open at 7.00 pm. All are welcome.

You can support Yvonne by signing one of the sponsor forms at the Coopers Arms and Ty Croeso, or online at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/yvonne-lloyd2

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