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Prince Philip A&E cash boost

Thomas Sinclair

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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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Four charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Carli Newell

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FOUR people have been arrested and charged as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang supplying class A drugs from London to Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Swansea.

Dyfed-Powys Police, with support from The Met Police, carried out warrants at four addresses on July 21, resulting in four arrests.

Mohammed Osman, aged 23, Yonis Mohammed, aged 20, Salman Mohamoud, aged 23 – all from Islington – and Amy Simmons, aged 21, from Dulwich were charged with a total of 12 offences:

  • Mohammed Osman: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine,
  • Yonis Mohammed: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.
  • Salman Mohamoud: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine
  • Amy Simmons: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.

All four appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 23, where they were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Swansea Crown Court for their next hearing on August 20.

The investigation is being carried out by the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, Aberystwyth CID and the Operation Orochi command of the Met Police.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones said: “These four arrests and charges are the result of a coordinated approach to target an organised crime gang we believe is running a county lines operation into the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

“We will continue to work diligently to disrupt gangs of this kind, to prevent the supply of illegal substances into our community.

“I would like to thank all officers involved, as well as the Met Police for their part in the operation.”

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New children’s play area in Bryn as part of new council housing development

Carli Newell

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A NEW children’s play area has opened in time for the summer holidays in Bryn, Llanelli as part of a new £5.9million council housing development.

Carmarthenshire County Council is building 32 new homes on land close to the Dylan housing estate in Bryn.

The scheme will be made up of 22 two-bedroom homes, four two-bedroom bungalows and six four-bedroom homes and is part of the council’s ongoing drive to deliver more affordable homes across the county. It has been part funded through the Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Grant.

The development also includes a new children’s play area, funded by the council in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, which will take over the running and maintenance of the play area on completion.

Executive Board Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans said: “I am delighted the park has been completed in time for the summer holidays for the local children to enjoy.

“We are committed to delivering more affordable housing across Carmarthenshire and this development will benefit dozens of families in Llanelli, as well as proving much needed facilities for the local community.

“I would like to thank the rural council for collaborating with this us on this and I hope the children are thrilled with it.”

Before designing the play area, the rural council liaised with local schoolchildren to find out what play equipment they wanted at their new park.

Llanelli Rural Council Chairman Cllr Tegwen Devichand said: “The council is delighted to be working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to provide this wonderful new play area for the community.

“The opening of the play area couldn’t have been better timed to coincide with the school holidays. I hope the local children will enjoy the range of challenging play equipment on offer and that they have lots of fun using it over the summer.”

The housing development is due to be completed by the beginning of 2022.

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Burry Port Harbour lighthouse overhaul tops council’s £2million investment

Carli Newell

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A £2MILLION investment in Burry Port Harbour is nearing completion, topped off with the iconic lighthouse getting a fresh lick of paint.

Carmarthenshire County Council is behind a range of improvements to maintain and restore the historic harbour which is one of the county’s most loved and well visited beauty spots.

Restoration of the Grade II listed harbour walls, undertaken under the guidance of CADW, will conclude within the next few weeks.

The council has also been working alongside The Marine Group, which operates the harbour, to improve mooring facilities. They are working closely with fishermen to bid for funding for new commercial pontoon infrastructure.

It will add to investment made over previous years which saw the council spend almost £1.5million on new pontoons, and over £300,000 in maintaining the harbour railings and bridge.

A local operator has agreed a lease for a cafe and public toilets on east side of Harbour, and the refurbishment of the old RNLI harbour office has recently started by The Marine Group (TMG) to create a harbour-side coffee house.

TMG has also invested in a state-of-the-art dredger which arrived at the harbour last autumn. Dredging is well underway and will continue until targeted depths are reached.

Boat lifting equipment and new fuelling points are also planned.

The council has introduced community safety officers to patrol the harbour assisting tourists and local people during the summer months, especially to advise around Covid regulations, as part of a tourism hotspot plan to take care of issues such as parking, litter, street cleansing, enforcement and signage.

Temporary car parking surfacing has also been laid on the east side along with new pay and display facilities ahead of a wider multi-million regeneration plan that will transform the harbour with a mix of housing, commercial and leisure space covering around 13 acres of prime development site.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We are proud of our continued investment in Burry Port Harbour. We are spending millions restoring and maintaining historic features that are much-loved by local people and visitors who come from far and wide to enjoy what the harbour has to offer.

“We continue to work closely alongside The Marine Group and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council to plan and prioritise works and ongoing maintenance. We are as keen as everyone else to ensure it is well-maintained and continues to be a place people can enjoy.

“We appreciate that there has been some upheaval during these improvement works but we ask people to understand that our investment will make Burry Port Harbour an even better place for the future.”

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