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AM welcomes plan to tackle rare diseases

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MID and West Wales Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans, has welcomed the launch of Wales’ first ever plan to tackle rare diseases – something that she has long been a campaigner for.

The plan, launched by Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething, sets out the Welsh Government’s expectations of the NHS in Wales to treat rare diseases for people of all ages, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.

Mrs Evans – who has been a champion for rare diseases in the Assembly – called for the plan in a debate she led in the Assembly as a backbencher.

Mrs Evans said: “Rare diseases are actually not that rare. A rare disease is defined as any condition affecting fewer than 5 in 10,000 of the general population. There are over 6,000 known rare diseases, and they will affect 1 in 17 people at some point in their lives – that equates to 175,000 people in Wales.”

The plan sets out how the Welsh Labour Government will implement the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases. It sets out what actions health boards, NHS trusts and their partners in local government, the third sector, education and research and industry can take together to engage and co-ordinate specialised services, which may operate only at regional, national or even international level.

Mrs Evans added: “I warmly welcome the launch of this plan to tackle rare diseases. Working alongside the UK strategy we can take actions to increase prevention, improve diagnosis, and enhance coordination of care.”

The five areas identified to help achieve the aims of the plan are:

  • Empowering those affected by rare diseases
  • Identifying and preventing rare diseases
  • Diagnosis and early intervention
  • Coordination of care
  • The role of research.

Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “This is the first time Wales has developed a plan to improve the experiences of people living with rare diseases and it brings together a number of recommendations designed to improve coordination of care and lead to better outcomes for people. To this end, we are keen to see real partnership across services, agencies, and above all between individuals living with rare diseases, their carers, patient organisations and the NHS. Patients with these conditions can suffer greatly and we are determined to provide the best care we can for them. I expect this plan to make a real difference.”Vaughan Gething AM: The
Deputy Minister for Health

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New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital

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WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces. 

Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.

Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.

James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.

Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.

Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.

Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.

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M4 closed westbound following lorry fire near Swansea

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A SECTION of the M4 near Swansea was shut on Monday (Aug 8) due to a vehicle fire.

The westbound section of the motorway, between junction 47 at Penllergaer and junction 48 at Hendy closed.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and there was queuing traffic in the area.

Traffic monitoring service Inrix reported: “M4 Westbound closed, queueing traffic due to vehicle fire between J47 A48 (Penllergaer / Swansea West Services) and J48 A4138 Pontardulais Road”

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Police appeal after Llanelli assault: victim required hospital treatment

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating an assault which occurred on Regalia Terrace, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire at about 12.05am, Sunday 3rd July.

The victim required hospital treatment.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the person in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the person is, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DP-20220703-011

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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