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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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Rescuers attend to injured construction workers in New Dock Street

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A MULTI AGENCY rescue operation is underway in Llanelli involving all three emergency services after an incident at a construction site.

Workers have been at the New Dock Street site, working for around three years, The Herald understands.

The Herald has been told that a piece of plant malfunctioned causing the emergency, which happened earlier this evening (Mar 19).

Four fire engines and three ambulances are at the scene, our reporter said.

A specialist line rescue team is involved in the recovery operation.

An eye-witness told the press that three workers have been affected.

The source said: “Concrete had just been mixed and had been poured into a skip which was then lifted using a machine. The concrete was being lowered into the hole, it’s probably about 20ft and then the machine toppled over.”

He added: “Two men climbed out of the hole on their own and as a precaution the third man was told to stay down there. The workers were told to leave the site as a precaution.”

At least one person has been seen being taken away in an ambulance.

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Llanelli: Met Bar incident investigated

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AN INCIDENT which resulted in a 51-year old man having to go hospital is being investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The man has been discharged from Glangwili Hospital but police are looking in to how the incident happened and how the man fell down some steps.

The incident happened outside the Met Bar in Llanelli on Saturday night (Mar 16).

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Herald: “At approximately 10.55pm on Saturday March 16, officers responded to reports of an injured man outside The Met Bar, Station Road, Llanelli, after he’d fallen down some steps at the location.

“Ambulance was at scene, and the 51 year old man was conveyed to Glangwili Hospital with what was thought to have been a serious head injury. He was then later discharged from hospital, and the head injury was no longer believed to be serious.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police by calling 101 and quoting DPP/3011/16/03/2019/02/C. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

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Reports damning for City Deal management

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THE PUBLICATION of two reports on Friday, March 15, has shone a light into corners of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

The first report released, prepared on behalf of the UK and Welsh governments, written by Actica Consulting, suggests a combination of concerns over funding and of the “much-publicised concerns on the wellness village (Delta Lakes, Llanelli, the single largest project) could cause a loss of confidence within the region”

In the meantime and, The Herald understands, over the anguished objections of the Regional

Office/Carmarthenshire County Council, the second report – an internal review – was circulated to county councillors in Pembrokeshire this morning.

The second report makes for grim reading.

The report lays bare the amount of distrust between the City Deal partners, particularly between Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire councils on the one side, and Carmarthenshire County Council on the other.

Each report highlights deficiencies in the management of the Deal, which Carmarthenshire County Council and its controversial CEO Mark James are meant to lead.

Familiar to those who have kept a close watch on the activities of Carmarthenshire County Council are complaints of a lack of transparency and openness in the way the City Deal has been managed to date.

Particular criticism is made of two key aspects of the project: that under Mr James’ leadership the Deal has failed to consider the City Deal as a truly regional opportunity and focussed on building individual, local projects of limited regional value; the second major criticism is the failure of leadership given to the project and an abject lack of clear financial processes and accountability.

In spite of an attempt to spin the ‘success’ of two elements of the deal, Swansea Waterfront and Yr Egin, it is worth noting that Yr Egin was only tacked on to the City Deal when already underway because UWTSD revealed it couldn’t afford to complete the project on its own as it had promised.

Cllr Rob James, the Leader of the Labour Group on Carmarthenshire County Council told The Herald late on Friday afternoon: “I am pleased that this review has highlighted many of the concerns that we have raised on governance.

“Frankly, the report validated our actions to date.

“Trust has broken down between partners and public confidence in one of the projects, in particular, has taken a big hit.

“There are clear lessons that need to be learnt and this report highlights several of them. I now hope that the administration in Carmarthenshire consider the review in full and ensure that radical changes on governance are delivered immediately.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee, said: “This review was carried out alongside the UK and Welsh Government’s independent review of the City Deal programme and sought to assure that it will deliver full economic benefits for the region.

“The findings and recommendations of the internal review will be formally considered by the SBCD Joint Committee at the next meeting.

“Looking to ensure governance is as robust as possible reflects that we’re still in the very early stages of a 15-year programme, but we’re ready to support any recommendations that would benefit the region’s economic prosperity in future by speeding up the City Deal’s delivery.”

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