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Assurances sought over health board review

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Mark Tierny: “I will play an active role”

Mark Tierny: “I will play an active role”

A LABOUR Assembly candidate has written to Hywel Dda seeking assurances over the transparency of an upcoming review.

Marc Tierney, who will be standing in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire has contacted the Hywel Dda Chief Executive Steve Moore after an independent evaluation of the changes in women and children’s healthcare in west Wales was announced at a meeting in Withybush Hospital last Thursday (May 28).

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) are due to undertake an independent evaluation. Hywel Dda has said that the review will ‘provide an impartial and expert evaluation, including representation from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, plus a midwifery, paediatric and neonatal nursing view, and a lay representative.’

The evaluation was commissioned by Hywel Dda University Health Board following a request by the Welsh Government Health Minister in January 2014 for a formal evaluation after 12 months of the service change on the ‘the impact of the revised neonatal service on newborn outcomes and patient experience’.

Changes to neonatal and maternity services were made in August 2014, when the University Health Board created a single site Special Care Baby Unit at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen, and established a Midwife Led Unit in Withybush Hospital, with all high risk pregnancies being scheduled for birth, or transferred as necessary, to a Consultant Led Unit at Glangwili Hospital.

In October, the Universiaty Health Board also made changes to paediatric services, establishing a Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit (or assessment unit) in Withybush Hospital, open 10am-10pm seven days a week, and a PACU and inpatient paediatric ward at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen.

Marc Tierney, who was present for the announcement of the review at the Health Board meeting last Thursday, said he believed it was important that the process is both transparent and understandable by staff and patients.

“The decision and subsequent removal of services last year was difficult and many of us shared our deep concerns about the process and implementation. The new management has listened to those concerns.

“But I want to be absolutely sure that the review’s terms of reference currently being written will be made public so that patients and staff fully understand the shape of the review and what potential outcomes are possible. The health service needs to prove it can once again be trusted with the way it makes these big decisions.

“To make that a reality, I hope that the Community Health Council (CHC) will play an active role in this review and that local residents who accessed women and children’s services since last August at either Withybush or Glangwili will take part. The health service must open to listening to those patient experiences, and I urge the public to come forward – either to the CHC or the Health Board so that their views are counted.”

The evaluation, scheduled to begin imminently, will assess the services against the benefit criteria identified in ‘Your Health Your Future,’ review the impact and outcomes of the neonatal service change, and determine how the current services meet recognised Royal College standards.

Speaking last week about the review, Mr Moore said: “We acknowledge that there has been significant public concern over the changes we made to some women and children’s services last year, particularly for our population in Pembrokeshire. For this reason, as well as assurance for us as a Board and our patients, an independent expert evaluation is essential.”

Anyone wishing to share their experience as a patient, or family member/carer, can visit www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/ myexperience and fill in a survey. You can also pick one up from the main reception at hospital or request one by calling 01554 899 056.

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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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