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Thousands participated in NHS Big Change consultation

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COMMUNITIES in mid and west Wales have made their voices heard as part of a 12-week consultation into the future of NHS health and care services.

The Big NHS Change consultation was held between 19 April and 12 July 2018. From a population of around 400,000 served by the Health Board, the consultation received 5,395 questionnaire responses, and reached out face-to-face at more than 160 events, attracting more than 4,000 attendees. Five petitions were received with almost 51,000 signatures and there was significant debate on social media.
The Boards say it is now going through a period of ‘conscientious consideration’, where it will consider views and implications heard in consultation and assess any alternative options put forward, before re-evaluating and proposing a future service model.

The Board said in a statement: “A series of meetings have been organised with clinical staff and key stakeholders such as other organisations that provide care and Hywel Dda Community Health Council to undertake this work. Two meetings are with broader stakeholders, one with representatives from protected characteristic groups and another wider group, with invitations issued to those who have already been significantly involved in the consultation.

“Any alternative proposals suggested as part of consultation will go through the same process as those explored pre-consultation. The Health Board will review if any of these alternatives were already considered, assessed and discounted prior to consultation. Any new, alternative proposal will be analysed (based on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis)) by a range of clinical staff to assess if it is viable and if so, modelling of activity, travel time, affordability etc would be undertaken.
“A recommended way forward, led by clinicians, will be presented to the public Health Board on Wednesday 26 September in Carmarthenshire County Council Chambers and webcast for ease of public access to the full discussion and debate.
“The consultation will not be determined by numbers alone, or a single aggregated result, as the population will inevitably have different perspectives on proposals and all views are important and valid.

“Board members will need to consider the clinical views, all they heard in the discovery phase (engagement during summer 2017) and everything they have heard in formal consultation, as well as issues such as safety, quality, sustainability of services and equalities when making any decision.”
Chief Executive Steve Moore explained: “We have committed throughout this process to be as open and inclusive as possible and we’ve strived to go above and beyond expectations for continuous engagement because it is the right thing to do and because we have learnt so much from discussion, new ideas and challenge. We are therefore making this report available to our patients, staff, stakeholders and communities so we can all take time to read and consider its contents.”

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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