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Top health workers recognised

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THE WINNERS of Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Best of Health staff awards have been announced at a ceremony at Parc y Scarlets.nhs

Held annually, the Best of Health awards recognise and reward the extraordinary achievements of Hywel Dda’s staff and volunteers, many of whom often go beyond the call of duty in their work for the benefit of patients and service users.

This year’s winners were chosen from over 100 entries from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and out of the twenty seven entries selected as finalists the ten winners of the Best of Health Awards 2014 are:

Improving the Patient Experience

Sister Lisa Marshall, Withybush Hospital

Improving Health and Wellbeing (sponsored by Health Shield Friendly Society Ltd)

Carmarthenshire Integrated Evidence Based Exercise Continuum for Frail Older Adults

Joint Working with the Third Sector and Partner Organisations

Carmarthenshire Heart Failure Service

Engaging with People

CreARTivity: The Art of Science and Wellbeing

Making a Difference Through Better Use of Resources

Physiotherapy Independent Prescribing in Spasticity Management

Outstanding Leader

Sharon Evans, Senior Nurse for Infection Prevention and Control

Providing Bilingual Healthcare

Getting the Lowdown Wales

Unsung Hero

Sandra Davies, Bryngolau Ward, Prince Philip Hospital

Volunteer of The Year

Rob Griffiths, Volunteer with the Education Programme for Patients

Chief Executive’s Award for Overall Best Entry

Physiotherapy Independent Prescribing in Spasticity Management

Commenting on his first Best of Health awards, Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “It has been a privilege to be a part of these awards and to recognise the extraordinary commitment of our staff and volunteers in providing the best care possible to those who really matter… our patients.

“I was particularly proud to present the year’s overall winner award to Gary Morris for Physiotherapy Independent Prescribing in Spasticity Management (pictured), and I congratulate all our finalists as well as those who were nominated. Well done to you all”.

The Best of Health award were made possible once again this year at no cost to the University Health Board due to the generosity and support of Health Shield and many local businesses.

The Best of Health Awards coordinator Fiona Hancock said: “On behalf of Hywel Dda I’d like to thank all organisations and local businesses who have once again made it possible for us to recognise and reward our fantastic staff and volunteers with a wonderful ceremony at Parc Y Scarlets.

The sponsors were Health Shield Friendly Society Ltd, Edmunds Webster Ltd and Riverlea. Raffle donations were received from Let’s Connect, the Blue Lagoon Waterpark, Machynys Golf Club Llanelli, Morgan & Morgan Office Group, Parc y Scarlets, Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, Artist Helen Elliott, The Lost Coins (Haverfordwest), Stradey Park Hotel, Wickedly Welsh Chocolate, and Gravell’s Motor Group.

Chief Executive of Health Shield Jonathan Burton said: ““It has been an honour to have sponsored the Hywel Dda Best of Health Staff Awards for the second year running and seeing what a tremendous job everyone does within the NHS and specifically in Hywel Dda University Health Board.

“It is such an achievement to even be nominated for an award and, on behalf of all of us at Health Shield, I would like to extend my congratulations to all those who were shortlisted and especially this year’s winners.”

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New healthy heart project to help patients in North Ceredigion

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PATIENTS in North Ceredigion will now benefit from a new project which will offer psychological support to those at risk of heart problems.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has funded this project which offers advice and support for patients with cardiovascular risk factors.

This new Clinical Health Psychology pathway will run the in North Ceredigion Cluster which covers seven surgeries. The scheme aims to prevent the escalation of cardiovascular disease and cardiac events including heart attack and stroke.

Support will be provided in a primary care setting for patients with two or more of the following modifiable risk factors:

Elevated blood pressure

Elevated Cholesterol

Elevated HbA1c

Clinically overweight or obese

Chronic stress

The pathway offers emotional support to help make changes to patients’ lifestyles, including managing stress or improving their health and fitness, ultimately helping to reduce cardiovascular risks.

Rachel Herrick, Clinical Lead Psychologist for the pathway, said: “Anxiety, depression and stress are risk factors for the onset, development and prognosis of cardiac problems. Lifestyle factors including diet, sleep, and activity levels also play a major role in the onset of cardiovascular diseases.

“By providing psychological techniques and therapy, we can prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. Learning to manage stress, anxiety and depression and following a healthy lifestyle will significantly reduce risk, as well as improve overall quality of life and general health outcomes for our patients in North Ceredigion.”

If you would like to self-refer to this pathway, please telephone and leave a message on 01267 246917 or email clinicalhealth.psychology.hdd@wales.nhs.uk

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Construction work due to begin on transforming Lampeter Leisure Centre next month

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AS PART of Ceredigion County Council’s wider Through-age and Wellbeing Strategy, Lampeter Leisure Centre will transform into a Wellbeing Centre. 

The Wellbeing Centre will provide a wide range of services that consider and improve the physical, mental and social aspects of an individual’s wellbeing. These Through-age services will include skills and employment advice, hardship and housing support, services for young people, support for carers and early support for Mental Health.

The Wellbeing Centre will also provide increased access to information, advice and assistance for residents on all council services. Providing opportunities for people to be physically active will remain a core component of the Wellbeing Centre. The proposed redevelopment will see a new fitness suite created on the ground floor, a spin studio and a multi-purpose room that can accommodate exercise classes on the first floor. 

To aid the transformation, Lampeter Leisure Centre will have to close to ensure that the essential building work can begin. The work is due to begin mid-July 2022.

An agreement has been put in place with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s to use their leisure facilities on their Lampeter campus while the work is being undertaken, meaning that all current users of the Leisure Centre will be accommodated.

The Council and the University are committed to continuing to work together even after the construction of the Wellbeing Centre, to ensure that there is provision within Lampeter for all sports and activities currently being played at the Leisure Centre to continue and develop.

Catrin M.S. Davies, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Customer Services, said: “This significant capital investment in Lampeter Leisure Centre will ensure the future of the Centre for years and will meet the growing needs of children, young people, individuals and families in Lampeter and the surrounding area.” 

Use of the facilities at the Lampeter Campus will start week commencing Monday 11 July 2022 and will continue until the building work is complete which will be early in 2023.

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New grants scheme launched to break barriers to accessing nature

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A £2MILLION funding pot designed to bolster community resilience by harnessing the power of nature is set to be launched by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) this summer.  

The launch of the Resilient Communities Grant Programme stems from calls for a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic – a recovery which places a stronger focus on action for nature and a recovery that spreads to every part of society.

 The Welsh Government’s declaration of a Climate and Nature Emergency has also galvanised communities, businesses and public bodies in Wales to work together to mitigate against and adapt to the impacts of climate change, now and in the future.

The Resilient Communities Grant will provide communities with the opportunities to restore and enhance nature in their local areas, particularly in Wales’ most disadvantaged communities, and those with little access to nature. Supporting the provision of more green space will also support the changes needed to make to society to respond to the challenges of the climate emergency and reverse the decline in biodiversity.

 With applications set to open in July, NRW is urging projects from across Wales to develop and submit proposals that have at their heart:

  • Opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion, particularly amongst communities that have less access to quality green spaces.
  • Creative ways to reconnect people with nature and their local environment to improve physical and mental health, confidence, self-esteem and encourage ‘green behaviours’.
  • Promoting health and wellbeing through therapy and nature, particularly interventions that tackle health inequalities.
  • Nature-based solutions that help communities feel safer and secure, for example improving greenspaces blighted by criminal activity.
  • Creating more opportunities to access nature, especially where this need is reflected in future development planning.
  • Opportunities to improving community awareness and understanding of climate risks, empowering communities to be involved in decision-making and taking action to tackle climate change impacts.
  • Ensuring communities feel a sense of connection and empowerment with their natural environment and have an active role over how it is managed and improved.
  • Creating opportunities for education and involvement in citizen science so communities have a better connection and greater understanding of their local environment and the benefits that a healthy environment can bring.

Gareth O’Shea, Director of Operations for NRW, said: “We have seen people connecting with nature during the Covid-19 pandemic and a greater appreciation of the way in which it underpins our health, our economy and our wider wellbeing.

“There has also been increasing recognition that the climate and nature emergencies are upon us, and its impacts are being felt amongst the parts of society that have contributed least to its acceleration. More needs to be done to mitigate and adapt now.

“Our Resilient Communities Grant Programme seeks to support that effort – providing communities with the opportunities to meet these challenges in a number of ways.

“From promoting the benefits of greater access to nature, tackling loneliness and exclusion and empowering people to influence the decisions made in their local areas, we’re encouraging people to submit proposals that can make a significant difference to the health, wellbeing and resilience of current and future generations.”

The Resilient Communities Grant Programme can provide 100% funding and applications are welcomed for amounts from £10,000 to £250,000. Applications can be made across different places and address multiple themes. Applicants who collaborate with other partners to submit joint applications are also warmly welcomed.

For further information on NRW’s Resilient Communities Grant Programme and the upcoming webinar, please visit: Natural Resources Wales / Current grant funding opportunities or contact grants.enquiries@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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