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‘Flying doctors’ get improved landing sites

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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

Landing site improvements: Wales Air Ambulance.

Landing site improvements: Wales Air Ambulance.

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.

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News

New Quay RNLI assists boy with broken ankle

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LAST week New Quay RNLI volunteers had a busy week with two training sessions, two call outs and crew attending a local agricultural show in Caerwedros.

With the inshore lifeboat training on Wednesday night and the all-weather lifeboat training on Thursday night, the crew then proceeded to launch on service twice over the weekend.

On Saturday 6 August at 5.50pm New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to provide first aid and assist the local New Quay Coastguard team with a medical evacuation on Traeth Gwyn, New Quay.

Huw Williams, one of New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “Unfortunately one of our crew members’ son had injured his ankle while playing on Traeth Gwyn. He urgently needed medical care but unfortunately there was a long wait for an ambulance. We arrived quickly on scene and administered pain relief. The casualty was in a lot of pain and we assisted the local Coastguard team to carry the casualty off the beach, up the steep path to their car.”

Father of the injured boy, Wayne Slawson added, “We would like to say a huge thank to everyone involved in this on Saturday and to both organisations as a whole, the level of service you all provide is first class.

“Our son is doing ok, following a few tough days in and out of hospital. He had to have a scan to determine whether or not he needed an operation as he had fractured his growth plate in his ankle. Luckily, they were able to manipulate the ankle into position while in theatre and now he has a full leg plaster. We can’t thank you all enough.”

The second callout was late on Sunday night at 11.50pm when New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to assist Dyfed Powys Police in searching for a missing person.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “After a thorough search of New Quay bay in glass calm conditions, and with nothing found, we were stood down and back at station by 1.30am. Another great example of our emergency services working together with the local Coastguard Rescue Team and police officers involved.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “We have been busy over the past few months keeping up with training and with many launches on service. Remember if you see anyone in trouble in the sea on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Our volunteers are on call 24/7 to help.”

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Health

Possible super-hospital plans released as Pembrokeshire site ruled out

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HYWEL Dda Health Board have reduced the number of potential sites for the new “super-hospital” in West Wales from five to three. 

The new site has been narrowed down to two possible locations in Whitland or one in St Clears.

According to the plans provided in Hywel Dda’s technical appraisal reports, all sites will include a main building divided into planned and urgent care, as well as a separate facility for mental health services. Parking, administrative facilities, and a helipad are also planned.

Site 12 in Whitland
Travel time analysis for population to site 12

The potential Narberth site is no longer being considered, meaning that the new hospital would be built outside of Pembrokeshire.

Hywel Dda presented the findings of a “transport infrastructure analysis,” stating that both sites had bus services that are “infrequent” and “short,” making shift work difficult.

Plan for ‘site C’ in Whitland
Travel time analysis for population to ‘site C’

For Whitland, it noted that there was an approximate 750m walking distance from the train station to the hospital site, with recommended walking distance of 400m, and that local roads do ‘not appear’ to suffer from significant congestion during a typical weekday. 

In St Clears, the report highlighted the impact a planned new railway station – expected to open in 2024 – could have on the town, saying it would be a ‘major boost’ to the area providing viable alternative car travel, with it being understood there is a commitment to increase the frequency of services at some stations along the west Wales line from two hourly to hourly.

Plans for ‘site 17’ in St Clears
Travel time analysis for population ‘site 17’ in St Clears

After it was announced that Narberth would not be the site of the new hospital, Hywel Dda University Health Board Chair, Maria Battle, assured the residents of Pembrokeshire that their concerns would be taken into account.

“Our programme business case to the Welsh Government is seeking the greatest investment west Wales will have ever seen,” said Ms Battle.

Ambulance times to Whitland, Bronglais Hospital and Morriston Hospital (Welsh Ambulance Service travel time analysis June 2022)
Ambulance times to St Clears, Bronglais Hospital and Morriston Hospital (Welsh Ambulance Service travel time analysis June 2022)

“We have listened to and continue to listen to the fears and voices of the public we serve and our staff who understand the frontline challenges of trying to deliver services across so many sites and spread so thinly.

“Recognising the fragility of our services and the risk this poses every day, we do not intend to make changes at Glangwili or Withybush hospitals before a new hospital is built. And afterwards, they will continue to provide valuable health services to our communities.”

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crime

Police appeal for information on incident in Black Lion Hotel

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DYFED-Powys Police are investigating an incident which occurred in the Black Lion Hotel, New Quay on the evening of Saturday, July 30, 2022.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to come forward.  Police would especially like to speak to a man who is believed to have recorded the incident on his mobile phone.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. 

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20220731-195

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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