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Prince Philip A&E cash boost

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A_E_2732444bPRINCE PHILIP HOSPITAL will receive £1.4million investment to improve services for people needing emergency medical and other unscheduled care.

Doctors and clinical staff, working alongside community representatives, including Hywel Dda Community Health Council, Llanelli Rural Council and lobby groups such as the Committee for Improving Hospital Services CIHS/SOSPPAN; were delighted to hear the news at a recent meeting.

Hywel Dda University Health Board will make the investment from its discretionary capital budget whilst at the same time putting together a business case to the Welsh Government, which if successful, would effectively reimburse the money.

The Front of House project focus’ on six different areas of care – substance misuse, frailty, mental health, acute medicine, minor illnesses and minor injuries. The aim is to ensure that people come into the hospital and see the best person to provide them with definitive treatment as quickly as possible.

Medical lead Dr Sian Lewis said: “Creation of a new ‘front door’ will provide direct admission to the Acute Medical Assessment unit when patients are referred by a GP or arrive by ambulance. This will mean we can deliver improvements to unscheduled care by reducing assessment times and allowing quicker access to a senior consultant for the sickest of our patients.”

A new unscheduled care GP Dr Meinir Jones, dedicated to the project, has already started work on the site, working closely with other GPs as well as current staff in the A&E and medical admissions unit.

Speaking at the meeting of the project and stakeholder group, Helen Williams from Hywel Dda Community Health Council said: “I can honestly say that this project has been clinically and not management led and I think that is why it has been so successful. It will be a first class service for the people of Llanelli.”

Chairman of campaign group CIHS Bryan Hitchman added: “It’s a precursor to what I think many other hospitals will be looking towards doing. The days of the old district general hospitals with consultant surgeons who treat everything under the sun, those days are gone. I think we have to accept that now and I hope some of the sceptics will accept that. It’s good practice which I think will be adopted by the NHs and give the people of Llanelli what we asked for – a front of house service where patients can be put on the right pathway to see a consultant, nurse, triage or go home.”

Mark Galbraithfrom Llanelli Rural Council said: “It’s been a privilege to serve on the project board to observe the ground breaking work being developed by the team of clinicians supporting Prince Philip Hospital. They deserve a lot of credit for this. The pathways developed for patient care are to be commended and I have no doubt they will be emulated by other hospitals and Health Boards across Wales, in the near future. It is reassuring the reconfiguration of front line services will help safeguard the hospital’s future, hopefully for many years to come. This is excellent news for the hospital and the public who value you it so much.”

It is hoped that work on site could begin as early as Autumn 2015, for the project, which does not increase the footprint of the hospital but will make changes and improvements to the current building.

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Llanelli lockdown looms

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PUBLIC HEALTH WALES have confirmed that Wales’ first town-only lockdown could happen after experts express concern at a spike in the level of positive Coronavirus cases in and around Llanelli.
Dr. Quentin Sandifer, Public Health Wales’ Medical Director confirmed that a ‘high level of concern’ exists at a virtual meeting of the Senedd’s Health, Social Care and Sports Committee this morning (Wednesday, Sept 23).
Dr. Sandifer was questioned by Assembly Member David Rees who asked: “How small an area could you go down to if you wanted local restrictions?”
The Public Health Wales representative replied by stating: “Looking at the position in Carmarthenshire, we do see quite a variation within that county area, with the highest figures of concern in the Llanelli area.
“That is where we are paying particular attention within Carmarthenshire. So we are able to go down to a sub-county, local level in terms of our considerations, and that is what we are actively doing.”
Dr. Sandifer went on to say that local lockdowns imposed early elsewhere, like Caerphilly, are “beginning to demonstrate some effect on infection rates.”
With the threat of a local lockdown hanging over Llanelli, a mobile testing unit has been set up at Parc-Y-Scarlets today and if you require a test, you can e-mail covidenquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk or call 0300 333 2222.

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Gemma runs 50 miles for air medics who attended her Dad

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A GRATEFUL Ammanford mum has raised £350 by running 50 miles for the Wales Air Ambulance after the Charity’s medics tried to save her dad’s life last year.

The air medics were first on the scene after Gemma Pritchard’s dad Gerry, suffered a major heart attack in February 2019. He sadly passed away in intensive care two days later.

Speaking of the care her dad received, the mum-of-one said: “The service they provided was out of this world. Every member of the crew kept us updated every chance they could. They worked tirelessly to save my dad and despite all efforts from the crew he sadly passed away a few days later. I will forever owe them my life for all the efforts that evening.

“Losing our dad was so hard after already losing my mother in 2011. We had to go through all the heartache of losing another parent.” 

Gemma, 30, who works in Jenkins Bakery and as a cleaner, completed the 50-mile challenge in 13 days. Running wasn’t something that came naturally to Gemma before the fundraiser. She was supported by her husband Owain and daughter Lillie-May, 5, to complete the challenge.

Owain did the last run with Gemma, which was 10 miles. She added: “I couldn’t run 10 seconds before the challenge he pushed me massively to achieve my goal.

“My first run I managed 3 miles then I upped it to 5 miles, then 6 and then I went straight in for the 10 miles. My poor feet still feel it now. I knew this would be a massive challenge to myself.”

This is Gemma’s first fundraiser and she is already thinking of different ways she can raise funds for the charity in future.

She said: “I’m overwhelmed at the funds I did raise, although I would’ve loved to raise a lot. I’m still very happy with what I have raised for my first of many fundraisers for such an amazing crew.

“I’d like to thank everyone who donated.  I’m so proud of completing my challenge.”

Mark Stevens, Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support Gemma has shown our charity. It is incredible to hear that despite Gemma’s loss she still wanted to show her support to our medics. It’s inspirational to hear that she picked a 50-mile fundraiser even though she couldn’t previously run before the challenge.

“Thank you to Gemma and everyone who has supported her. We’re delighted to hear that Gemma hopes to raise more funds in the future for our Charity.”

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The latest increase in coronavirus in Wales is ‘sobering’ says First Minister

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THE FIRST MINISTER, Mark Drakeford has criticised the lack of communication with the UK government as he gave a briefing on what he described as the “sobering” increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalisation in Wales.

The infection rate in Wales has risen to 23.6 infections for every 100k people as cases have spiked in areas including Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Caerphilly and Newport.

Hospitalisations remain low but are rising, with five people currently in intensive care with Covid-19 and and 53 Covid patients on all hospital wards, according to the latest data from Public Health Wales from Sunday, September 13.

Mr Drakeford said that the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had risen to 41 with four people in intensive care.

He also said that the R number in Wales was almost certainly now above one – meaning the virus is spreading exponentially again. The latest estimate, he said, was between 0.7 and 1.2.

Mr Drakeford said: “In this most difficult week, there has been no meeting offered to First Ministers of any sort. Since the 28 May, there has been just one brief telephone call from the Prime Minister.

“This is simply unacceptable to anyone who believes that we ought to be facing the coronavirus crisis together.

“We need a regular, reliable, rhythm of engagement: a reliable meeting even once a week would be a start. I make this argument not because we should all do the same things, but because being round the same table allows each of us to make the best decisions for the nations we represent.

“There is a vacancy at the heart of the United Kingdom, and it needs urgently to be filled, so we can talk to each other, share information, pool ideas and demonstrate a determination that the whole of the country can face these challenges together at this most difficult time.”

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