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GP uncertainty at an end?

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Patients and petitions: Nia Griffith MP and Dr Devichand

Patients and petitions: Nia Griffith MP and Dr Devichand

AFTER A LONG period of uncertainty following the announcement that a popular doctor was retiring The Herald spoke with Dr Prabodh Devichand, at his Andrew Street surgery.

His patients had rallied around Dr Devichand when he raised concerns that his patients would be dispersed around Llanelli to any doctors willing to take them. Those concerns sparked a petition, supported by Llanelli MP Nia Griffith, which drew over 2,000 signatures on paper and a large number of online signatures calling on the Hywel Dda University Health Board to take over the running of Dr Devichand’s surgery as a managed practice, to ensure the continuity of care of his patients.

Speaking exclusively to The Herald about the uncertainty surrounding his retirement, Dr Devichand said: “As we know Nia Griffith MP handed in the petition that Suzy Curry started to Sian James the vice chair of the health board. Up to now we have had one set of doctors who have shown an interest in taking over the practice. If they do take it over it will end a lot of uncertainty for my staff and patients. The interviews will take place on August 17 and then the process will start.

“The premises the health board have suggested are in Dafen and there are units there, which I believe are being modified. There appears to be plenty of parking there too. I can’t comment on the bid but as far as I am concerned any continuity for my staff and patients is a good thing. I am hoping that these new premises will offer far more services including physiotherapy, joint injections, minor surgery and contraceptive implants.

Nia Griffith said that the principle of being able to ring up and see the doctor is what the patients want to see continue, to which Dr Devichand replied, “When I spoke to Sian the vice chair she said she would emphasise to whoever takes over that access to a doctor is the most important issue. We hope to save the patients from being dispersed and keep them with this new group of doctors. I believe that we will have very committed doctors and a great model of provision for Llanelli.

Nia Griffith asked Dr Devichand if the vice chair was able to give him any idea on timescale and if he would be able to stay until the new practice is set up.

Dr Devichand replied: “I discussed that and she assured me that once a bid is accepted she will make sure that it will be approved by the health board and when approved we can allay the anxiety of our patients and explain what is happening. From the 17th when this is all in place then I am not sure what will happen with regards with the new premises but I am assuming it will take about 6 to 8 months to have the building ready, possibly March or April next year. I will be part of the continuity during the whole process. I will be available during the transition and be here to ensure the new team know about the patients I have served for so long.”

Nia Griffith told The Herald: “It appears that the pressure exerted on the Health board via the petition and The Herald’s reporting of the uncertainty surrounding the Andrew Street surgery following Dr Devichand’s retirement has moved things along. We are relieved to hear this news today but there is still much to do before we can celebrate. It has been evident from the numerous messages of warmth towards Dr Devichand that he will be a hard act to follow. We hope this decision will now allay some of the fears of patients and staff who have shown tremendous support throughout.”

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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