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Councillor comments on health board appointment

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BERNARDINE REES OBEBERNARDINE REES OBE has been hired as the new chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced this week. 

The appointment has been greeted as unwelcome news by one local councillor, Viv Stoddard – who told The Herald that Bernardine Rees was behind plans eight years ago to downgrade Withybush in a plan called ‘‘Designed to Deliver”. Mrs Rees, who trained as a nurse and lives in Ceredigion, was chief executive of the former Pembrokeshire Local Health Board and Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire local health boards between 2003 and 2009. Her last executive position in NHS Wales was as director of primary, community and mental health at Cwm Taf University Health Board, where she also served as the organisation’s deputy chief executive. Mrs Rees is currently serving as a non-executive director of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust. She will resign this position to assume her new role at Hywel Dda University Health Board. Hywel Dda University Health Board provides healthcare services to around 372,000 people living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The chair’s role is to ensure the board functions effectively by managing the agenda and establishing the board as a corporate team. Mrs Rees’ term of office will start on July 1, 2014 and run until July 31, 2018. Professor Drakeford said: “I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Bernardine Rees OBE as the new chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board. “I know she is passionate and enthusiastic about Hywel Dda University Health Board and has a wealth of relevant experience and I wish her well in her new role. “I attach great importance to the appointment of chairs who are chosen for their skills and experience and for the contribution they make to the work of the health board.” Commenting on the appointment, Cllr Viv Stoddard – a keen campaigner for local services – told The Herald: “Bernadine Rees has had a life-time career in the NHS. She is a true insider, no doubt steeped in the organisation’s culture. How can it be that she, or anyone with such a long NHS CV, be deemed to be the best person to fulfil this key role – which will include scrutinising and dictating the work of her erstwhile colleagues?” Cllr Stoddard added: “She was one of the two authors and drivers behind the infamous ‘Designed to Deliver’ glossy blueprint of eight years ago, that sought to downgrade Withybush Hospital, and heralded the advent of the deeply unpopular threecounties strong Hywel Dda Health Board. At that time, the county’s health watchdog, Pembrokeshire Community Health Council objected to the Designed to Deliver plans, saying that maintaining Withybush Hospital in its current site, with stateof- the-art accident and emergency department and a range of other services; and keeping the Special Care Baby-unit and consultant-led obstetric and maternity services were key to essential health services for the county.” Cllr Stoddard concluded by saying: “Pembrokeshire people gave a resounding ‘no’ to the reorganisation proposed in ‘Designed to Deliver’, just as they now say no to the very same controversial plans. Pembrokeshire Herald readers should now decide if it appropriate to appoint to this crucial post of health board chair, a person who has a long-history of pre-determined commitment to the radical, unpopular, and imminent changes to the county’s health service?”

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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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