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Extra NHS funding for care services

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nhsHYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD has had a funding boost of £286,440 and a share of central funding to improve primary care services in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The funding is part of a £3.5 million package for health boards across Wales, the Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Monday (Nov 3). Providing eye care services closer to people’s homes; preventing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease; developing the skills of the primary care providers; and reducing health inequalities though community action in our most deprived communities are to benefit from the funding.

The funding is being made available in 2014-15 from central Welsh Government funds. Following a round of spending proposals from all the health boards in Wales the Minister has approved schemes including of the use of £2 million to improve and develop the skills of NHS primary staff.

These include medicine management, developing GP skills in cardiology, dermatology and palliative care, nurse led phlebotomy, pharmacists support for nurses and GPs, advanced nurse practice, improving access to primary care and pulmonary disease, including bronchitis and emphysema, rehabilitation in community settings closer to people’s homes.

The Minister has also agreed supports for more local eye care services, with £600,000 going to the seven health boards to provide an additional 7,274 eye appointments including cataracts, glaucoma and agerelated macular degeneration. One of the wider benefits of providing these services locally will be to free up hospital appointments. In Hywel Dda, £206,000 is being provided for education and training and £80,440 to provide 624 optometrist-led triage appointments to reduce demand for new ophthalmology referrals and post-op appointments.

Advance Practice Training will get £300,000 to develop a multidisciplinary primary care workforce, which makes more effective use of GPs’ time and expertise. The funding will help train more advanced nurses, therapists and clinical pharmacists to work in primary care to support GPs. Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “These schemes will improve the quality of service provided by GPs, nurses, pharmacists and therapists to patients. Improving local, targeted services will help reduce the inequalities in health and tackle poverty, both of which are key Welsh Government priorities and are linked to poor health.

By providing a ‘closer to home’ health service which is better integrated with social care and has close links with services provided by the third and independent sectors we will reduce inequalities in health. This funding will help to create a strong, highly-trained primary care workforce, which can deliver a widerange of services in local communities, reducing our dependence on hospitalbased care. It will also see more follow-up eye appointments provided closer to patients’ homes instead of in a hospital setting.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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