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Withybush shake-up in battle to keep understaffed A&E open

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withybushhospMANY PATIENTS from Pembrokeshire will no longer be treated at Withybush Hospital and will be diverted to Glanwgili in Carmarthen in a major shake up by health bosses, who say they are fire fighting to keep 24 hour A&E services open in Haverfordwest.

For the time-being at least, Withybush will no longer truly be a ‘county hospital’.

The Health Board has confirmed to The Herald that the number of patients admitted to Withybush Hospital overall will be reduced so that the UHB can “safely maintain a 24/7 service” with the few doctors available.

This will be achieved; it has been announced, by temporarily changing the catchment area of Withybush Hospital, diverting GP admissions and ambulance transfers from Cardigan, Narberth, Kilgetty, Saundersfoot and Tenby to Glanwgili Hospital, Carmarthen.

Struggle to maintain a 24 hour service: Withybush A&E

Struggle to maintain a 24 hour service: Withybush A&E

In a statement released yesterday (Jul 16), health bosses have reiterated that Withybush is facing a temporary shortage of doctors. The Health Board said that foreign doctors they have recruited to help elevate the problem are awaiting visas so they can travel to the UK to take up their new positions.

That being the case,  they said, an action plan had to be put in place to “enable the hospital to safely care for patients and keep the medical intake and the Emergency and Urgent Care Centre open.”

READ OUR IN DEPTH REPORT IN THE HERALD TOMORROW 

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Community

Elin Jones backs calls for Epilepsy Nurse working in Ceredigion

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ELIN JONES has joined people living with epilepsy and those who support them to discuss issues relating to the healthcare and wellbeing of epilepsy sufferers in the Aberystwyth area, and has reiterated their call for a specific Epilepsy Nurse in the local Health Board.

Epilepsy Aberystwyth District Support Group meets on the second Saturday of each month, in Tesco’s Community Space in Aberystwyth from 11.00am until 1.00pm.

Following the meeting, Elin Jones said:

“It is important that epilepsy sufferers have appropriate local healthcare support.

“Many epilepsy sufferers are prohibited from driving, and therefore face additional barriers to accessing health and social support.

“There is currently no specialist epilepsy nurse in the Hywel Dda Health Board and I will be raising with the need to appoint such a necessary role with the Chief Executive.

“Meetings such as this with local action groups provide me with valuable insight into the variety of challenges faced by people with specific conditions in Ceredigion and it allows me to represent them more effectively with relevant authorities.”

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Business

Work begins on new station at Bow Street

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TRANSPORT for Wales has begun work on the new £8-million railway station at Bow Street in Ceredigion.

Opening to passengers in 2020, the station, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the Department for Transport, will include park and ride facilities, cycle storage and a multi-modal transport interchange. The scheme is being delivered by TfW, Network Rail and Ceredigion County Council.

Part funded by the Department for Transport via the New Stations Fund , the new station will provide a link to the national rail network for the community of Bow Street for the first time since the former station was closed in 1965. This will transform transport for local residents, providing links for employment and educational opportunities. Through providing alterative travel, it will also help ease road congestion on local roads supporting the sustainability agenda.

Located close to the UK Innovation and Research Campus that is being developed by Aberystwyth University, the station will provide access between the site and the University’s main campus in Aberystwyth itself.

The station will be served by trains on the Cambrian Line between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury, and will be the first of several improvements to services on the line as part of TfWs transformation of the Wales and Borders rail service.

Bow Street will benefit from the introduction of brand new trains and an hourly weekday service from 2022, and other stations along the line will benefit from investment as part of TfWs £194 million Station Improvement Vision.

Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport, said:

“Our vision for railways includes the opening of new stations and the improvement of connectivity across all regions in Wales. This is the beginning of delivering that ambition. Bow Street Station will improve links to employment, business, education and leisure facilities in Mid Wales.

“We have been clear about the need for greater investment by the UK Government so we welcome this funding from the Department for Transport, which sits alongside our own funding. We look forward to further joint working and investment from the UK Government, which has responsibility for rail infrastructure under the current devolution settlement, to improve rail infrastructure in all parts of Wales.”

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said:

“I’m delighted that work has started on the new station at Bow Street as it’s an important part of our plans to transform transport throughout the whole of Wales.

“This is the first station we’re building since we took over the Wales and Borders rail service, and we’ve committed to at least five further schemes, demonstrating our commitment to investing in connecting communities throughout Wales to the rail network.”

Claire Williams, Community Rail Officer said:

“The Bow Street Interchange project will make the railway more accessible for passengers from all over the county as well as reducing the amount of congestion on the roads within the area, therefore reducing the carbon emissions which of course is fundamentally better for the environment. The Cambrian Railway Partnership is proud to have been involved in this project from its inception and look forward to its opening later this year.”

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Community

RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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