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New hospital unit is a ‘partial replacement’ for A&E

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Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 14.50.23PATIENTS attending Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital in an emergency can expect to be treated in a brand new purpose-built unit at the back of the hospital site from this week.

But a local councillor says that this unit “is the presentation of a bitter pill with a false sugar coating”.

Dr Sian Caiach says that the A&E has been “permanently taken away and replaced by a partial service of minor injury and illness treatment and selective admissions of sick patients.”

The Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) – which is part of the health board’s £1.4m Front of House Project at Prince Philip – will officially opened its doors to patients on Wednesday 6 April, having undergone trials over the past few weeks.

A new Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is also opening for patients via the old A&E entrance at the front of the hospital. This is run by GPs and Emergency Nurse Practitioners working together, and can treat patients with a range of problems from muscle and joint injuries to burns and scalds, minor head injuries, minor eye injuries and more.

Senior doctors and nurses in the AMAU will see patients with a wide range of problems including strokes and chest conditions. Patients go straight there if they come to hospital by ambulance or through their GP.

Patients can also be seen there who come to the MIU if they need medical care from senior doctors. If necessary the ambulance will take you straight there or your GP will tell you where you need to go.

The new AMAU features two resus bays, a fast positive stroke bed, assessment area / reception and lobby, and a six-bed monitored step-down area. It also sports a new ambulance entrance with a canopy and an AMAU reception area.

Dr Robin Ghosal, Clinical Lead for Prince Philip Hospital, said: “This is an exciting time for us. The launch of the new AMAU and MIU will modernise the way patients with acute medical illnesses or minor injuries are assessed and treated.

“What’s particularly good about the Front of House project is that we have all come at it from different angles, and what is exciting is that all of our angles are aligned in the end with one aim – to provide high-quality care for patients with acute medical illnesses or with minor injuries.

“We couldn’t have got to this point without the support of local residents, community representatives, including the Community Health Council and Rural Council, and members of lobby groups, and I would again like to thank them for their support and input.”

Speaking to The Herald on Thursday Dr Sian Caiach said: “As an Assembly candidate, local Councillor, and member of SOSPAN (the local campaign to retain medical services), I would say that this is the presentation of a bitter pill with a false sugar coating. The A&E has been permanently taken away and replaced by a partial service of minor injury and illness treatment and selective admissions of sick patients from Llanelli to the stand alone medical unit as not all medical conditions are suitable for the unit – if you call 999 in Llanelli you will most likely be taken to Glangwili but if referred by your GP with certain likely diagnoses, you may well get admitted to PPH.

“The loss of specialisms and surgical backup, now only available now at Glangwili means that it would be dangerous to admit anyone likely to require extra treatment. A full intensive care unit has also been removed from prince Philip Hospital, leaving less capacity to treat the very sick.

“It does keep the treatment of a fair number of sick people in a local hospital but the Hospital is effectively downgraded and has been slowly stripped of various services over the past two decades. This is a big smack in the face for Llanelli, the most populous town and area served by Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

Speaking to The Herald on Thursday Dr Sian Caiach said: “As an Assembly candidate, local Councillor, and member of SOSPAN (the local campaign to retain medical services), I would say that this is the presentation of a bitter pill with a false sugar coating. The A&E has been permanently taken away and replaced by a partial service of minor injury and illness treatment and selective admissions of sick patients from Llanelli to the stand alone medical unit as not all medical conditions are suitable for the unit – if you call 999 in Llanelli you will most likely be taken to Glangwili but if referred by your GP with certain likely diagnoses, you may well get admitted to PPH.

“The loss of specialisms and surgical backup, now only available now at Glangwili means that it would be dangerous to admit anyone likely to require extra treatment. A full intensive care unit has also been removed from prince Philip Hospital, leaving less capacity to treat the very sick.

“It does keep the treatment of a fair number of sick people in a local hospital but the Hospital is effectively downgraded and has been slowly stripped of various services over the past two decades. This is a big smack in the face for Llanelli, the most populous town and area served by Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

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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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