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Questions for new GP team

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The new team: Dr Huw Perry, Nia Griffith, Dr Paul Williams and Dr Devichand

The new team: Dr Huw Perry, Nia Griffith, Dr Paul Williams and Dr Devichand

A MEETING to introduce the new team of doctors to the patients of Dr Devichand took place at the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli on Wednesday (Sept 23). Dr Christie Melyn was absent but Dr Huw Perry and Dr Paul Williams were introduced to a room packed with patients and began to inform the crowd about their plans for the practice.

An element of panic appeared to set in amongst some of the people regarding whether or not they would be able to see a doctor without having to battle with a receptionist or wait for hours in a waiting room.

Patients also questioned whether they would be able to have consistency by seeing the same doctor. Questions were also asked regarding the telephone system, the waiting times, the home visits and the prescription of drugs.

Doctors attempted to address many of the questions but a number of people did not appear to accept their explanations.

Dr Huw Perry said: “There has been a lot of uncertainty and anxiety but what we are saying is that nothing is going to change for some time. The model we have is that Dr Devichand will stay as long as he wants to. Upon his retirement other doctors will service the practice. We need new premises and The Health Board are looking at that with us. We would like to stay within reach of the existing practice. You are triaged (assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties) by the doctors not a nurse or a receptionist.

“People can phone and they may get a receptionist but they don’t have to divulge their problem if they do not want to. They will get called back regardless. The call comes in and they will get a call back from a doctor who has their records on view. They don’t have to sit in a waiting room in this way. They will be seen when it is suitable to them.”

Dr Paul Williams told the patients: “We decided to work together and I know a lot of you will be anxious about any changes but there won’t be any initially. Changes will be made and brought in very slowly. You will still be able to see Dr Devichand in Andrew Street and Dafen. We are trying to source new premises because the ones we have now are restrictive.”

Looking to changes in the range of services offered, Dr Williams continued: “We want to offer more extensive services like minor surgery and complex joint injections. We would like to make life easier for you. For people on warfarin we would like to increase that service level. We would also like to offer contraceptive implants. Everybody is given access to a doctor by phone or face to face the same day. 50 to 60% of consultations can be done over the telephone. We need to alleviate staff and patient anxiety. This is the fourth practice we have gone into and we have improved them. Nobody needs to be told that they have to wait two weeks to see a doctor.”

Dr Paul Williams said that the doctors had been in business together for three years and that his surgeries and the six doctors were working well and waiting times were low.

He said: “We like to look at what the patient problem is not what the appointment time is. If it is simple and can be dealt with quickly why wait for two weeks or sit in a room for hours when it can be dealt with in three minutes flat? If a patient has a problem, the right person will see them at the right time. It may mean seeing a nurse or alternative practitioners. We want to bring health care to primary care so you get seen and dealt with properly. The thought process of seeing a doctor has to change because there are fewer doctors in Wales. If you are better off seeing someone else then that is what we can work with.”

At the end of the meeting The Herald asked Dr Devichand if it was a tough crowd. He told us: “Things change. It will be better and it is very promising. As long as they see the patients the same day that is the main thing. I am happy with the way they work. Their system has been looked at by the Health Board and they are happy with that.”

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Llanelli and Germany meet again for Oktoberfest 2019

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Fans of beer, music and dancing are in for a treat as Oktoberfest comes to Llanelli this October.

Bringing the German beer festival closer to home, Oktoberfest celebrates its first year in Llanelli this 5th and 6th of October. With a Bavarian Oompah band, German beer, food and an Oktoberfest themed venue, it is sure to be a fantastic event.

Popularly known as the world’s largest beer festival, the traditional Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich, Germany. With more than six million people travelling from all over the world to attend the Munich event, Iceqbe Events are now hosting the festival in Llanelli.

Iceqbe plan to bring the Bavarian atmosphere to the same venue that the town was once twinned with Germany in 1989. Taking place in the Selwyn Samuel Centre, the event is hopeful to attract both Llanelli locals as well as those who live further afield, supporting the Welsh town.

In preparation for the crowd, the biggest German beer festival to hit Llanelli will take place in a 220 people capacity venue, with the two-day festival spread into three separate beer-drinking sessions. 

Recently nominated for the Great British High Street award, this up and coming town is overflowing with welsh culture and international events, including Pride which took place in Llanelli earlier this year.

Iceqbe’s Co-Founder and Operations manager, Stefan Diamond, explains why they chose the town to host their event.

“We are thrilled to be hosting our very first Oktoberfest event in Llanelli,” said Stefan.

“I’ve lived here for seven years now and know first-hand what a great atmosphere this town brings to events like this. 

“With the town’s connection to Germany, it felt like the obvious choice for our event location. We can’t wait for beer-lovers across the UK to come together for a weekend of dancing, food and fantastic Bavarian beer!”

Co-founder of Iceqbe events, Luke James, explains what they’re hoping to achieve from the event.

“As the majority of event companies continue to outsource their staff, customer service levels have dropped whilst food and drink prices have skyrocketed,” he said. 

“We want to change that. We manage everything in-house which allows us to have full control over everything, from the venue to staffing. Our priority is to provide an amazing, safe and great value experience.”

Oktoberfest is sure to have people flocking in, with the opportunity to win tickets for you and five friends via their social media channel. To find out more about Oktoberfest, visit https://www.iceqbe.com/.

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PH Balance help arrest alleged sex offender

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A 51-YEAR-OLD male was arrested in Llanelli last Sunday (Sept 08) in connection to an alleged sexual offence.

Paedophile Hunting group PH Balance South Wales admitted to being involved with trapping the suspect through the use of a decoy. According to PH Balance’s recent Facebook post, the man had arranged a meeting with PH member Dobby who was acting as as a 14-year-old boy online. The man had shown up to the Llanelli town centre to allegedly take the young boy shopping. 

Dyfed-Powys Police arrived swiftly on scene and placed the alleged offender in handcuffs before taking him to the station in the back of a police vehicle.

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Llanelli Herald: “On Sunday, September 8, we received allegations from a group in respect of a man in the Swansea area, which related to offences involving children. Officers arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of meeting a child following grooming, at Eastgate Llanelli, the same day.”

The spokesman added: “The man has been bailed from police custody with conditions.”

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Becoming Deputy Chief Constable ‘a huge privilege’

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CLAIRE PARMENTER has been announced as the new Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable, describing it as a ‘huge privilege’.

DCC Parmenter, who grew up in Llanelli but now lives in Carmarthen, has worked her way through the ranks since joining the force as a PC 26 years ago.

She said: “Becoming the Deputy Chief Constable within my home force is a huge privilege for me, I hope this will inspire other officers and staff to achieve whatever they want across the service.”

Her policing career began in Ammanford in 1993, having just completed a BA (HONS) degree in Education at Cardiff.

“I was thinking of a career in teaching or policing, and decided to do my degree before making the choice,” DCC Parmenter said. “Policing was always in my heart, so when it came to it, it was an easy decision.”

As well as serving in a variety of uniform roles, DCC Parmenter has undertaken a number of secondments across UK Policing and beyond.

These include a role as national field officer with the National Policing Improvement Agency, becoming operational Chief Inspector in Avon and Somerset Police, and contributing to the national implementation of neighbourhood policing, for which she received a chief constable’s commendation.

She was promoted to Superintendent in 2010 and became lead for the Joint Emergency Services Group in Wales, leading and developing a number of blue light collaboration and resilience programmes, working closely with Fire and Rescue, Welsh Ambulance Service Trust and Welsh Government.

“I’ve always tried to look at the wider landscape of policing and how we work with partners to improve services to our communities,” she said. “These secondments have given me exposure to different ways of working and has broadened my outlook.”

DCC Parmenter returned to uniformed policing in 2012 and took up the role of Superintendent of specialist operations.

She later took over as BCU Commander for Carmarthenshire and Powys, and later took up the post of Chief Superintendent Head of Uniformed Policing for the force.

She is an accredited Strategic Firearms and Gold Public order commander and has won a Stonewall National award for her support of LGBT staff.

A mother of two, DCC Parmenter’s drive and dedication has not only led her to become a chief officer, but has also had a positive influence on her teenage daughters.

DCC Parmenter said: “My youngest daughter is 14 and she’s also keen to join the police. It’s nice to know that she looks at my career positively and can see how policing can make a real difference.

“I’m very proud to be a chief officer in the force I am from. Being able to effect the delivery of services in my home area, and to serve people in the area I live ensuring the best possible service, is a huge privilege.”

Looking ahead, DCC Parmenter’s aims are to keep delivering across Dyfed-Powys Police, and to ensure the force continues to improve and innovate.

She added: “I know Dyfed-Powys communities and staff very well, and I think we have got all the ingredients to be an absolutely outstanding force. I look forward to being a part of the chief officer team to deliver that.

“I’m really grateful to our staff and colleagues across the force, who have supported me throughout my career.”

Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “Claire has shown outstanding commitment to our communities over many years and I am delighted to have her as my Deputy Chief Constable.”

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