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Hywel Dda responsible for 40% of overspend by health boards

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD is responsible for more than 40% of the total overspend by Welsh health boards, it has been revealed.

By the end of this financial year, a total of £163m will have been overspent, according to a BBC Wales analysis.

Of that sum, £69.6m will have been overspent by Hywel Dda.

The huge figure is an increase of 40% from last year, with an overspend of just under £50m.

The total health board deficit figures are:

  • Hywel Dda Health Board (West Wales) – £69.6m
  • Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board (North Wales) – £36m
  • Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (South West Wales) – £30m
  • Cardiff and Vale (South Wales) – £26.9m

The amount spent on temporary doctors and nurses at Hywel Dda hospitals, due to ongoing recruitment problems, is largely to blame.

Hywel Dda said in their latest financial report that their savings had been ‘the best so far’ this year, however this had been countered by ‘local cost pressures’.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said that if the health boards were overspending they would not be ‘bailed out’ by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh NHS was also warned that it was facing ‘the most financially challenging period in its history’.

A spokesperson for The Welsh Government said that it was increasing NHS budget above what had been recommended.

They said: “Investment in our NHS is at a record high and Wales already spends considerably more on health and social care per head than in England.

“We are also investing an additional £550m over the next two years, including £100m to help transform the way health and social services are delivered.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, Angela Burns AM, said: “These soaring deficits show a health service in Wales which is teetering on the brink of financial abyss.

“Failures by the Welsh Labour Government to initiate long-term planning measures for health boards and to break the culture of waste and inefficiency have all played their part in the mess our NHS now finds itself in.

“From Hywel Dda to Betsi Cadwaladr – which is in special measures and under direct Welsh Government control – the situation across Wales is getting worse and worse.

“There is a real risk that health boards will soon be forced to cut vital services in order to make savings, and it’s patients and staff who will be left paying the price.

“This once again raises very serious questions for Labour’s Health Secretary who seems to have run out of ideas and has promised not to bail out health boards.

“To avoid any further damage to services and public confidence in them, Vaughan Gething needs to instigate swift root-and-branch reforms of the health service focused on better planning, smarter spending and stronger public health messaging.”

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Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children

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RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season

RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)  

Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.

“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children.  However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”

Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:

*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)

*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).

The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.

Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:

  • You are worried about your child.
  • Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
  • Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
  • Your child seems very tired or irritable.

Dial 999 for an ambulance if:

  • your baby is having difficulty breathing
  • your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
  • there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
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New Quay RNLI rescues person cut off by the tide

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New Quay RNLI returning to station with two members of the Coastguard team

NEW Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched on service on Saturday September 11 following a report of a person cut off by the tide at Traeth Gwyn, New Quay. 

With three crew members on board the inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ it launched on service at 11.15am and did an extensive search of the beach before finding the casualty who had been cut off by the high spring tide.  

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “There was an initial confusion on the location of the casualty but an update from the New Quay Coastguard Rescue team, who had fought their way down from the cliff top through thick undergrowth, allowed us to locate the person. 

“We then transferred the casualty and two of the coastguard team onto the boat. We dropped the casualty off at Llanina Point and brought the two coastguard officers back to the lifeboat station. The inshore lifeboat was then rehoused and ready for service by 12.25pm. 

“Remember if you see if you see anyone in difficulty or you find yourself in trouble on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Ben Lake shows support for farmers on Back British Farming Day

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Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers.

BEN Lake MP has today shown support for British food and farming on Back British Farming Day, recognising the crucial role farmers in Ceredigion play in producing food for the nation.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with the emblem of the day – a wool and wheatsheaf pin badge – to enable them to join the celebration of agriculture. Food and farming is a key business sector, worth more than £120 billion to the UK economy and providing jobs for almost four million people.

The NFU chose the day to launch a new report which asks for Government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year, covering the country’s production of key foods and its contribution to global food security. This would be the first meaningful assessment of UK food security in over a decade.

Commenting, Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers. The day presents an opportunity to thank the farmers who feed us, as well as take care of our countryside and maintain our iconic Welsh landscapes.

“I fully support the campaign which is asking us all to value locally produced food. I will be calling on Government to adopt agricultural policies that ensure farming in Ceredigion can thrive and ensure our self-sufficiency does not fall below its current level of 60%, alongside a greater ambition in promoting Welsh food to aid UK food security.”

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