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Investment announced at Prince Philip



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We need a clear long term plan for our hospital: Helen Mary Jones

A £1.4 M investment to re-develop emergency care services at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital has been approved by the Welsh Government, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Thursday, January 7.

The investment will allow Hywel Dda University Health Board to re-model the hospital to implement the new model for emergency care, which will see people being treated more quickly, by the right person, first time. Under the new model, patients who arrive via a 999 emergency ambulance or who are referred to the hospital by a GP will be taken straight into the redesigned acute medical admissions unit (AMAU). A resuscitation area will be created in the AMAU along with a stroke diagnosis (FAST positive) bed. This area will also have a six-chair ambulatory care area. ‘Walk-in patients’ who arrive at what is the current front door will be triaged to be cared for by either an experienced enhanced nurse practitioner or a GP.

Patients needing the frailty service will be directed to the multidisciplinary team, while people needing mental health services will have access to acute assessment within the new department. The new model for unscheduled care at Prince Philip Hospital has been designed by clinical staff and has been backed by the Royal College of Physicians, Llanelli Rural District Council, Hywel Dda Community Health Council, patient groups and SOSSPAN. The new centre will be opened at the end of May 2016. Mark Drakeford said: “I’m pleased to announce this investment, which will transform emergency care services at Prince Philip Hospital to ensure patients are seen by the right person, in the right place, first time. “This investment will also show the people of Llanelli and the surrounding area that Prince Philip Hospital has a very bright future in providing excellent healthcare.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “We’re delighted that the Welsh Government is investing in this exciting and innovative project at Prince Philip Hospital. “The health board launched the project using local funding owing to the importance we have placed on it, but we are very pleased that the Welsh Government has today endorsed it in full.“We are proud of this clinically-led scheme, which will deliver a model of care fit for the 21st century. It will focus on six different areas – acute medicine, frailty, mental health, substance misuse, minor illnesses and minor injuries – and will ensure that people who come into the hospital see the best person, delivering the best treatment, as quickly as possibly.” Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru Assembly Candidate for Llanelli said: “We welcome investment, but it’s unfortunate that it is long overdue. Although this isn’t a substitute for a full A&E service. I recognise that residents across Llanelli need access to a fully-fledged doctor-led emergency service which is on their doorsteps.

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Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June



ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services



MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre



LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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