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Wales’ critical care beds full



  • • Increase in beds planned
    • Hospitals ‘safe for most patients’
    • Call for COVID-free sites

    THE HEAD of the Welsh NHS, Dr Andrew Goodall, delivered a sobering assessment of the nation’s capacity to handle any sharp increase in the number of patients requiring critical care.

    He also said any benefits from the Welsh Government’s ‘firebreak’ lockdown would not filter through the system for several weeks.

    Speaking at a press conference at Tuesday lunchtime (Nov 2), Dr Goodall said although Welsh hospitals were well-prepared for the usual winter pressures, cases of coronavirus meant they faced challenges to maintain services over the coming months.
    Andrew Goodall said all of Wales’ critical care beds were now occupied.

    Coronavirus patients occupy a third of critical care beds. The balance of critical care beds is occupied by the normal number of patients needing critical care.

    Dr Goodall said an increase in critical care beds was possible to absorb a rise in coronavirus cases.

    He will know, however, that any increase in critical care beds will run into the problem of finding suitably-qualified and experienced staff to attend patients occupying them.

    Diverting existing staff to critical care units from other specialisms within the Welsh NHS will have a knock-on effect on other NHS services.

    Macmillan Cancer Support has already expressed its concerns about cancer patients falling through the cracks in NHS staffing caused by the coronavirus.

    In a report on COVID-19’S effects on cancer treatment, the charity says: ‘The NHS must ringfence the capacity needed to keep COVID-protected cancer services running, with no redeployment of staffing or repurposing of resources’.

    Andrew Goodall also revealed that around one in forty of all cases reported nationally were attributable to patients contracting coronavirus while in hospital. The NHS identified 192 likely cases of transmission in hospitals during the previous week.

    He added the prevalence of COVID in the wider population meant excluding from closed clinical settings was all-but impossible.
    Dr Goodall stressed the spread of the virus in hospitals was nothing to do with poor infection control but reflected COVID’s infectiousness. It can be passed in its pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic, and symptomatic stages.

    Dr Goodall emphasised that hospital care is safe.

    Everyone admitted to hospital is tested. Six percent of those admitted to hospital test positive for COVID, regardless of whether they attend for treatment for the virus or not. Even the worst-affected area of Wales (Rhondda Cynon Taf) only three percent of hospital admissions are directly related to coronavirus infection. Over eighty-five percent of available NHS beds in Wales do not have coronavirus patients.

    Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “People must have confidence that the Government is doing all it can to urgently provide ‘Green’ COVID-free, or ‘COVID-light’ sites for diagnosis and treatment.

    “Given how quickly the virus can spread when it gets into health and care settings, they must have confidence also in steps taken to keep the virus out in the first place. I don’t want people who may need treatment deciding to stay away, shoring up more serious problems for themselves and the health service.”


Hywel Dda provides teaching equipment on infant feeding for over 100 midwives.



Doll and knitted breast for midwifery

THANKS to donations, Hywel Dda Health Charities has been able to provide bags containing teaching equipment on infant feeding to over 100 midwives across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Each bag contains a doll and knitted breast, so that the midwives can give advice to new mums and mums-to-be on breast-feeding, along with laminated cards with information.

All the community midwives across the three counties, plus the maternity units at Glangwili,

Bronglais and Withybush hospitals have received the bags.

Hywel Dda’s Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, Christena Phelan O’Riordan (pictured in the foreground with Health Care Support Worker Jan Jones), said the dolls and knitted breasts were proving to be extremely useful as teaching aids.

“It has made such a difference having these visual aids to give pregnant and post-natal mothers advice on breast-feeding,” she said.

“Whether face-to-face in hospital or at home, or virtually through WhatsApp calls, these aids are great props for when we are teaching about breast-feeding.”

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Donations are making a real difference to the lives of patients, service-users and staff in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.

“We are very grateful for all the support we receive from our local communities.”

For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to

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Recognition given to long-standing members of Council committee



AT AN Ethics and Standards Committee (virtual) meeting held on 17 September 2021,  Rif Winfield and Hywel Wyn Jones were given recognition for their 10 years’ of service to the Committee between 2011 and 2021. A small plaque was presented to both.

Hywel was Chair of the Committee for 3 years.

In their place, two new independent members Alan Davies and Caryl Davies have been appointed.

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council said, “Ceredigion County Council has benefitted from a decade of advice and considerations provided by Rif & Hywel. We welcome the new members of the committee and their input to the function of the Committee will be greatly appreciated.”

Standards Committees of local authorities exist to do all that is possible to promote and safeguard the standards that the public rightly expect from their elected representatives.

Ceredigion County Council Chairman, Councillor Paul Hinge, said, “Our thanks go to Rif and Hywel who have given their time to contribute to the Committee and we welcome the new members.”

The Committee is made up of five independent members, two county councillors and two town/community councillors. Meeting quarterly, reports for the Ethics and Standards Committee including dispensation applications can be found on the Council website:

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Exciting new developments on the horizon for Lampeter Wellbeing Centre



Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility

At a Cabinet meeting held on 01 December 2020, it was agreed that Lampeter Leisure Centre would become the location of the Council’s first Wellbeing Centre in the County.

A significant amount of work and investment is to be made at the Leisure Centre which will improve the facility and the resources for years to come.

Over the coming months, as we see the plans and proposals for Wellbeing Centre develop, they will be shared with service users and the residents of Ceredigion.

Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility. The layout will be a reconfiguration of the existing facility in order to provide a Wellbeing Centre that can provide an enhanced range of Through Age Services, including Leisure Services to the residents of Lampeter and the mid of the county. 

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member, said: “We are looking forward to the development of the new Wellbeing Centre at Lampeter. This will provide a range of services to residents within their local community.

This development comes at a welcome time, as Ceredigion Public Service Board is carrying out an Assessment of Local Wellbeing, in order to find out about the wellbeing of local people and communities, now and in the future.”

Lampeter Leisure Centre will be closed during the building works, but during this period alternative provision will be made available for all service users and clubs.

We look forward to being able to share these alternative plans with you over the coming weeks, as soon as these arrangements have been finalised.

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