HELICOPTER landing sites across Wales will be improved so they are available 24 hours a day in preparation for the launch of the country’s new ‘Flying
Doctors’ service – EMRTS Cymru – in April, Welsh Labour’s Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced.
A number of hospitals in Wales have existing helicopter landing sites but only three currently support 24-hour-a-day landings – Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Rhyl, and Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
Welcoming the news, Rebecca Evans AM said: “The new flying doctors service will help deliver emergency response teams to rural areas across Wales, and the development of the landing sites to enable them to be used 24 hours a day will ensure that the service can be used to its full potential. Wales is blessed with some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in the World but the geography and topography also makes travel challenging. The flying doctor service will help bring emergency treatment to those who need it quickly.”
The £180,000 investment announced means helicopter landing sites, which have already been cleared for day landings, will become available for night landings. They will rely on rural volunteer or hospital response teams to deploy temporary landing lights and windsocks when alerted to the arrival of an aircraft. The initial sites to be supported include:
• Bronglais Hospital, in Aberystwyth – Penglais School playing fields, Waunfawr, Aberystwyth;
• Withybush Hospital, in Haverfordwest – Haverfordwest Airport;
• Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen – existing offsite helipad;
• Singleton Hospital, in Swansea – field behind Singleton Fire station;
Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “Our aim is for the most seriously-injured and sick patients in Wales to be treated by the very best clinicians, providing world-class, life-saving treatment. In the future, these highly-specialised services will be provided at fewer hospitals but they will be supported by a network of local hospitals, offering people access to local emergency care.
The EMRTS Cymru service will transform our ability to provide the very best care to the most critically-ill patients in Wales. It will provide patients – especially those in remote and rural areas of Wales – with rapid access to the skills of a consultant in emergency or intensive care medicine, who are equipped to provide life-saving, specialist critical care. The enhancement of helicopter landing sites across Wales is an integral part of the work to ensure timely delivery of the EMRTS Cymru team and special
ist equipment to those patients. It will allow EMRTS Cymru teams to access local hospitals and transfer patients to a major trauma centre. It is also an opportunity to support the vision of the Wales Air Ambulance charity to increase their operational activity and future 24/7 air capability.”
A further 27 sites across Wales are being surveyed to provide rendezvous points for helicopters and ground vehicles.
A level results still high in Ceredigion
THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.
Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.
Wales 2019 Ceredigion 2019
Grade A* – A 27.92% 27.0%
Grade A* – B 56.0% n/a
Grade A* – C 77.5% n/a
Grade A* – E 97.9% 97.6%
Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.
These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”
MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding
HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.
Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.
During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.
Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.
Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.
“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”
Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”
New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth
A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.
Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.
Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.
Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.
“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.
“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”
Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.
Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.
The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.
This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.
For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on email@example.com.
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