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Ceredigion MP signs Commons ‘Bereavement Standard’ motion

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UK GOVERNMENT urged to introduce new account closure standard to help grieving families.

Ben Lake MP has backed a House of Commons motion which calls for the introduction of a new ‘Bereavement Standard’.

The early day motion (EDM), tabled as parliament returned on September 1st, calls on ministers to “simplify and streamline” the “complex array of arrangements” which face grieving families who need to close accounts with service providers, following the death of a loved one.

The growing support in parliament comes as nearly 80,000 people have signed a public petition at change.org/bereavementstandard which demands similar action from the government to improve the process of account closures across the UK.

Ben Lake MP said: “Grieving families have enough to cope with without the added burden and unnecessary stress caused by having to close multiple accounts, which at the moment can take weeks or months to complete. A new Bereavement Standard would simplify and streamline the process.”

The campaign, launched recently by mother and daughter Julie and Vicky Wilson, from Easington, Co Durham, is backed by several charities including Cruse Bereavement Care, Sue Ryder, Marie Curie, and the Good Grief Trust. A ‘Bereavement Standard Working Group’ to help bring about the requested standard has also been established with leading service providers, parliamentarians, charities, and UK regulators.

Across the UK, more than 600,000 people die every year. Currently, there is no approved process for closing accounts when someone dies – some companies demand a death certificate before closing an account, others seek different proof and paperwork. It can take weeks, or months, of repeated calls, to close just one account. On average individuals have up to 20 utility, mobile, broadband, TV subscription, and other household service accounts which need to be closed.

The Bereavement Standard would set a time limit for account closures, standardise paperwork and documents required, and ensure service providers have dedicated bereavement channels with properly trained staff, available to customers.

Vicky Wilson, who founded the campaign with mum Julie, said: “We are hugely encouraged that there is such growing support from MPs and members of the public for a new set of agreed standards, and we call on ministers and all service providers across the UK to listen to those voices and back our campaign. Without an agreed Bereavement Standard, service providers can still add unnecessary stress at a time when grieving families have enough to deal with.”

It was following the death of her grandmother that Vicky Wilson experienced the protracted and unsatisfactory process that thousands of families have to endure when closing multiple accounts for loved ones who have died. As a result, she and her mum founded a new online account closure service, Settld, which launches to members of the public for free, later this year.

Steven Wibberly, CEO of Cruse Bereavement Care, said: “It is vital that companies show compassion towards bereaved people. They must simplify their processes to ensure they are fit for purpose and to make sure that they are not causing their bereaved customers further distress, at what is already a very difficult time.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has left thousands more people bereaved. Anything that can be done to simplify this process for bereaved people will have a huge impact.”

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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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