RUMOURS about the closure of a council-run care home in Llanelli must stop to protect vulnerable residents, according to a council officer, who gave a categorical denial that this was on the cards.
Councillor Siân Caiach has previously raised concerns about the future of Caemaen Care Home, and has campaigned with others for Llanelli care homes to stay open in the past.
At Tuesday’s Full Council meeting (Feb 23), Cllr Caiach asked for clarification of the plans, following the executive Board revealing that they had ‘no definite plans’ for the new £12.5m care home planned for Llanelli as part of the five year Capital Programme:
“I’ve asked before, and will ask again, about the future of our own care home for the frail elderly in Caemaen, and whether or not this is going to be replaced by the extra care home, which is of course a different matter,” she said.
“I really feel this extra care home is part of a privatisation agenda.”
Council Chair Peter Hughes- Griffiths wondered whether the question had been answered before in a council meeting:
“If we haven’t done it before, can we do it today?” he suggested.
Responding, Councillor Jane Tremlett, who holds the health and social care portfolio, said that the new home was in a very early stage, and no allocation had been made for the site or number of users.
“I am very keen that we actually look at the needs of the people of Llanelli,” Cllr Tremlett added.
“The detail has to be worked out based on the need – not just now, but future, planning 15, 20, 25 years ahead, so we actually get it right.
“I think that’s the important thing we must never forget; however grandiose these schemes might be, we are looking at providing care for people that is what they need, and where they need it.”
Cllr Tremlett also suggested that, along with other parties, including Labour, she believed that a mixed economy of private and public sector was the ‘way to go.’
Director of Community Services Jake Morgan gave full assurance that Caemaen would remain open: “I think it’s important to be absolutely clear: the development of new provision isn’t related to the closure of other provision,” he stated.
“I have said that many times – I couldn’t have been more definitive about that, and nor could Cllr Tremlett.”
Mr Morgan also suggested that unfounded speculation concerning the closure of Caemaen was unhelpful to residents.
“I think that it is probably important, given the vulnerability of people in the various provisions, and how easy it is to start anxieties, that maybe we put a stop to that narrative – that one is related to the other,” he added.
“We have expanding demand in that area, and we have a capital commitment to meet some of that demand to maintain a balance of in-house and external provision.
Mr Morgan also pointed out that, rather than being a privately-run facility, the new care home would be run by the Housing Association, and domicillary care would be in-house, leading to ‘an element of growth’ in this provision.
Former Chair of Save Our Homes Jan Wiliams said that people needed to know more detail as soon as possible: “There has been a lot of scaremongering, and people are nervous,” she said.
“I do feel that extra care is the way forward – in addition to the external provision we need care homes for the elderly, care homes that are run by the council, because believe it or not, the public trust us when it comes to running a care home.”
Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50
EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.
While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.
Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:
- Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
- Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
- Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
- Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
- Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April
The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.
Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.
People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.
Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While our programme has had to slow due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.
“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.
“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.
“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.
“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”
People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.
The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.
Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.
Covid alert level lowered for whole of UK
THE COVID alert level for all four nations of the United Kingdom has been lowered to alert level 4.
The decision comes following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in light of the most recent data.
In recent weeks, the R-rate and the number of covid cases has been on the decline.
Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the four UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all four nations.
“The health services across the four nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital, however thanks to the efforts of public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.
“We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high. In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer. However for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.
“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers, we thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”
Under the Welsh Government’s Alert level 4 restrictions, schools and colleges, places of worship, community centres, playgrounds and public parks are among those that can be opened.
Theatres, entertainment venues, leisure facilities and outdoor visitors attractions are among the places that must remain close while the country is in Alert Level 4.
Wife completes 50-mile running challenge to raise money for charity after husband suffers stroke
A 39-YEAR-OLD woman from Pwll, Llanelli, has raised over £8,000 for the Stroke Association, after she completed a 50-mile running challenge.
Katie Fry’s husband Dale, 36, had a major stroke in July last year, in the middle of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and she wants to raise awareness of stroke and how it can happen at any age and at any time.
Dale did not have any symptoms of a stroke, he went to work, played with his children and went for a run but had a headache in the evening so went to bed, when he woke up in the early hours of the next morning he had left sided weakness, headaches and slurred speech.
Katie acted FAST and Dale was admitted to hospital for tests where it was found that Dale had a severe stroke so he was airlifted to Bristol for a thrombectomy, 24 hours later he had life saving brain surgery and remained in Intensive care for days, Dale was repatriated back to the stroke ward in PPH where he remained before being transferred to Neath Port Talbot hospital for his rehabilitation in September.
Dale is transferring to the BIRT (Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust) early March where he will continue his rehab for 12 weeks.
Katie said: “Dale was fit and well, the stroke came out of nowhere and it was really unexpected. It has been a hard six months as Dale has remained in hospital for his rehabilitation but due to Covid-19 we have been unable to visit him much at all.
“The pandemic has had a huge impact on Dale’s recovery as resources have been limited and Dale is now on a ward with recovering Covid-19 patients and had limited interaction and support. We communicate via video calls but it’s not the same, this has had a huge impact on Dale’s mental wellbeing.’
Katie and Dale have been married for 10 years and have two young children, “I am so proud of my husband as he is working so hard with his rehabilitation and I love to see the videos of him getting a step closer in his recovery. Dale inspires me every day and I hope he and we as a family can inspire other families going through the same journey as us.”
Katie decided to fundraise for the Stroke Association with a 50 mile running challenge as she was determined to do something positive, “It has been a release for me to get out running. It was a way of raising awareness for the charity but also to help me navigate through this difficult time. I have two young children so it has been a very stressful time with home-schooling as well as helping Dale with his recovery. I can’t thank my friends and family enough for their help and support and for everyone who has donated.”
Katie Chappelle, Associate Director, Wales at the Stroke Association said:
“Thank you to Katie for raising an amazing £8000.00. These are vital funds as with the support of people like Katie we can help more stroke survivors and their families as they look to rebuild their lives.
“A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and it turns lives upside down as it has with Dale and his family.”
To sponsor Katie or keep up to date with Dale’s progress please visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/740852340189430/
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