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NHS drop-in event in Aberystwyth

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RESIDENTS in Aberystwyth and the surrounding area are being invited to a public drop-in event to discuss NHS proposals to fundamentally change the way healthcare services are provided for current and future generations.

The event will be held between 2pm-7pm at Morlan Centre, Aberystwyth SY23 2HH on Friday, May 18. This is an opportunity to say what you think about the proposals or to give new ideas.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has formally launched its ‘Big NHS Change’, a 12-week consultation aimed at making provision of local health and care better for communities.

The Health Board are asking residents across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, as well as the wider cross-border regions, to get involved and have a say on three proposals to improve the way care is provided for the population.

Hywel Dda Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “Our proposals for change could affect everyone in our area, from bumps and babies to older people and everyone in between, so we are asking you all to tell us what you think. Whether you are a patient, a carer, a family member, or one of the thousands of people who work for the Health Board – we want to hear from you.

“Last year we started a conversation with our population, our staff and with people we work with to provide care to explore what is important to us and to jointly think about how to best run services. We did this because we think it is the right thing to do to design our services together. We explored the opportunities we think are offered to us through modern medicine and advancements in technology and the expectations you have for us to improve.

“We also set out the significant challenges faced by the NHS which we must deal with to ensure it thrives and delivers for you and your family now and in the future. This means that we will have to make decisions about where we can provide services and know that there are going to be compromises to make, so that we make best use of our resources.”

Among the biggest challenges the health board currently faces are an ageing population, difficulty for many people in accessing services close to home, significant recruitment challenges – particularly specialist medical staff – and ageing hospital buildings which require a lot of maintenance to keep running.

To overcome these issues Hywel Dda say that they want to radically change the way they provide local health care services so that people are accessing most of the care and treatment they need in their local community, and are able to stay at home while they are getting treatment rather than having to go into hospital.

Reducing the number of main hospitals will mean having fewer medical rotas to fill, making it easier to attract clinicians to come and work in the area; it will also mean shorter waiting times and fewer cancellations, and more money for local and community health services.

In all three of the proposals, Bronglais District General Hospital will continue to provide services for mid Wales; a new major hospital will be built somewhere between Narberth and St Clears, and there will be 10 community hubs across the Health Board area.


Hywel Dda’s Executive Medical Director & Director of Clinical Strategy, Dr Phil Kloer, added: “The challenges we face are really significant. People are living longer, some with long-lasting health conditions, and we expect there to be many more older people who will need regular health care and social care.

“In our area some people live in towns and some in country areas, making it difficult for us to ensure that services are in the right place for people to access. Many people live a long way from services, so helping people to live at home while they have treatment can involve a lot of travel for health workers.

“We know that people want to be supported to manage their health in their own homes – about 4 out of every 10 hospital beds are filled by people who could be treated at home. Added to this is the fact that we’re finding it hard to get enough permanent staff, especially specialist medical staff, to come and work for us, and we also need to make fuller use of new technology such as computers, phones, telehealth and telecare.

“This is why we have come up with three proposals that we think are safe, viable and offer an improvement on what we currently have, and have launched a formal 12-week consultation to present these to you, to listen and talk to you further and take on board your views and ideas.

“We all have a shared passion for the NHS, our services, our history and our staff and we want to harness this to design, together with you, the best health service for our population. We are so grateful to those of you who have already been involved in this as patients, staff and members of our communities.”

Feedback will be independently analysed and considered before any formal proposal is put before the Health Board for decision on how to proceed later in 2018.

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Man arrested for illegal fishing in Teifi valley

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A MAN has been arrested after environmental crime officers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) spotted an illegal net in a mid-Wales river.

The officers were conducting a routine patrol of the River Teifi on Thursday (May 14) when they came across a net in the water.

Following an investigation carried out in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police, a man was arrested on suspicion of illegal fisheries offences in the Teifi valley.

At the scene, officers retrieved the net which contained seven dead sea trout.

David Lee, NRW’s North and Mid Wales Operations Team Leader, said:

“Thanks to the excellent work of our officers and Dyfed Powys Police we were able to prevent further damage to the Teifi sea trout population.

“We take any activity that threatens sea trout and salmon extremely seriously and this is especially true of illegal fishing.

“Nets can potentially capture large numbers of fish and given the current challenges facing stock numbers currently every sea trout or salmon taken represents another blow to our efforts to protect these iconic fish.”

Despite the current Coronavirus lockdown, NRW officers are continuing to patrol Welsh rivers and people are encouraged to check that fish they buy locally – particularly through social media – are from a legitimate source.

If you see any suspicious or illegal activity on our rivers please report it to the NRW incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.

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Mother-daughter foot patrol brings 30 year career to a poignant end for Chief Inspector

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AS Chief Inspector Nicky Carter ended a 30 year career in policing, there was no better way to do it than going out on patrol with her daughter.

And for PCSO Charlotte, taking to the streets of Lampeter with her mum was a fitting way to mark her first six months at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Patrolling together in uniform was something the mother-daughter pair had long imagined, with PCSO Carter wanting to join the police from a young age.

The 19-year-old said: “I joined in September 2019, and have wanted to be a part of Dyfed-Powys Police since I can remember. I was inspired by my mum working in the force, and thought it would be a great career.

“I’m really glad I joined before she retired, as it gave us the opportunity to go out on foot patrol in the town where mum had been the local Inspector. It was really lovely.”

Embarking on a career she’d planned since childhood, PCSO Carter took the chance to gain valuable advice from her mum – whose experiences on the frontline inspired her to join.

“Mum has told me to always treat people as I would wish to be treated,” she said. “That’s something I’ll take forward with me.”

“I’m six months in now, and I enjoy dealing with the public and offering reassurance to people in the communities of Lampeter town and surrounding areas.”

For former CI Carter, the foot patrol drew a 30-year career – starting at North Wales Police – to a poignant close.

She ended her time at Dyfed-Powys Police in her home division of Ceredigion, transferring to Aberystwyth in 2006 to take up an inspector post.

Despite admitting there will be concerns for her only child as policing inevitably comes with risks, it was a career she encouraged.

She said: “I was very proud of Charlotte wishing to join Dyfed-Powys. As I retire I still consider that policing offers tremendous job satisfaction and I know that the organisation looks after and cares for its staff.

“I encouraged her to find out about the PCSO role before she applied, and also encouraged her to attend an open evening in Ceredigion to speak to staff. I wanted her to make an informed decision to join the organisation.

“As a parent and a former officer, it is natural to be concerned about what may occur when Charlotte is at work. However, the training, mentoring and support from staff and supervisors is second to none, so that offers me reassurance.”

Looking back at 30 years in policing, CI Carter has achieved plenty to inspire her daughter – and other women thinking of joining. From being a founding member of female networks in two forces, and a committee member of the British Association of Women in Policing, she has also proudly contributed to local and national work to ensure all staff reach their full potential.

She was humbled to receive a leadership award from Chwarae Teg in 2017, and represented chief officers at the International Association of Women Police awards in Alaska in 2019, where two Ceredigion officers were rewarded for their bravery.

When it comes to passing on her wealth of experience to her daughter, the former CI urged her to always consider her own wellbeing as well as that of the community.

“The most important advice I have given Charlotte is to look after herself and her wellbeing as whilst policing is a very rewarding role, it is one that can be both challenging and stressful at times,” she said.

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Ben Lake MP “disappointed” after Agriculture Bill amendment on the standard of food and agricultural imports is rejected by House of Commons

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The UK’s new Agriculture Bill was put before MPs on Wednesday (13 May) for the final time as it reached the Report Stage and Third Reading.

Alongside farming unions and campaign groups, Ben Lake MP has lobbied for the Bill to include a number of important amendments. One of the amendments sought to introduce a legal requirement that agricultural or food products imported into the UK under future trade agreements would need to be produced or processed according to equivalent animal health, welfare and environmental standards as those required of UK prodcuers.

This amendment, in the form of New Clause 2, and which was tabled by the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parish MP, was rejected by the Commons. All Plaid Cymru MPs supported the amendment and Ben Lake MP said he was “disappointed” that the house did not vote in favour of an amendment to prevent the importation of products produced to lower animal health and environmental standards, and which in turn would have supported the high standards of Welsh produce.

Ben Lake MP said:

“Without this amendment there remains no legal requirement for future UK trade agreements to ensure that any agricultural or food imports are produced to the same standards as those required of domestic producers.

“Farmers in Wales strive to produce quality food in a sustainable manner, but the failure to include this amendment to the Agriculture Bill risks undermining these efforts by keeping the door open to imports produced to lower environmental and animal welfare standards.

“I have always argued that in order to protect our own high standards it is crucial that a level playing-field is maintained in relation to imports, and that farmers in Wales are not put at a disadvantage by having to compete with imports that are produced to lower standards. I sincerely hope that this amendment will be adopted by the House of Lords, so that the House of Commons has another opportunity to support it.”

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