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Andrew Street Surgery saga ends

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Retired: Dr Pradobh Devichand

Retired: Dr Pradobh Devichand

Nia Griffith told us: “It is imperative that the health board get this sorted out immediately so that patients have a doctor when they call in or turn up ill at the surgery. It was quite clear in the autumn that Dr Devichand was anxious to go as soon as possible. It was very concerning to hear that new arrangements may not be in place until the 1st of August. This is a problem that we want to avoid. Seeing a doctor at the surgery is a key facility when people are ill.”

The Herald met with Labour’s Llanelli AM Candidate Lee Waters and Minister for Health and Social Services Mark Drakeford AM later that morning.

BOARD NEEDS TO ACT

Speaking about the absence of a doctor at the surgery that morning Lee Waters said, “This is something the Health Board needs to sort out. This has been bubbling along for months. They knew the changes were coming. The Health Board have a responsibility to provide a doctor at Andrew Street.

“The situation this morning was alarming. From what I understand they had security present and not doctors. They had the foresight to provide a security guard so they should have had the foresight to supply a doctor. We are putting pressure on them to make sure the patients at Andrew Street have a proper service as soon as possible.”

The Herald asked Mark Drakeford AM what could be done to avoid a similar situation happening again. He said, “Changes in GP services are inevitable in Wales and they are happening in parts of Wales already. We have to strengthen the other members of the primary care team, who can do more to free up GP’s to do the things only a GP can do.

“In the future the relationship a patient will have will be with the whole of the practice and so you have got examples in Wales and in Hywel Dda as well as having a GP in the surgery you have an advanced practice nurse, an advanced practice physiotherapist, a pharmacist who could see lots of the people a doctor would have had to previously see, paramedics working as part of the team; and then doctors, who are the scarcest and most skilled people we have in the system, don’t spend their time seeing people who could be equally, sensibly and properly looked after by somebody else.

“The situation in Andrew Street today is one the Health Board needs to get a grip of. Things did move over the weekend in terms of securing the lease of the premises. There is a plan there to make that service secure for the future. Now we need to make sure that it is delivered and delivered quickly.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board issued a statement following The Herald’s report on Monday morning.

RETIREMENT WAS ‘SHORT NOTICE’

The Board said: ‘Temporary changes to the way some patients are seen at Llanelli’s Andrews Medical Practice have been put in place today, following the short-notice retirement of locum GP Dr Prabodh Devichand on Friday.

‘Patients at the practice will still be seen by doctors and the practice nurse as usual, but clinics will be organised in a different way for a short period of time. The practice nurse will see and triage (assess) patients throughout the morning as usual, and a travelling GP from Rosedale Medical Group will be present at the practice to sign prescriptions, deal with urgent queries and run an afternoon surgery. No patients will be dispersed to other practices.

‘Patients are asked to phone the surgery if they need an appointment, rather than turn up on the day as they would have done; many patients will be able to be treated by other healthcare professionals, but for a short period of time those who need to see a doctor will either be allocated an afternoon clinic slot, or in some instances will need to see the nurse and doctor. Rosedale Medical Group are also finalising plans to put longer-term GP cover in place to provide continuity for patients.

The statement concluded: ‘Patients can also play their part by Choosing Well and ensuring that they find the right service for their individual need, from services that support self-care in the home, to grass-root community support groups, community pharmacies, optometrists and dental services.’

APOLOGY TO PATIENTS

Kathryn Davies, Executive Director of Commissioning, Therapies and Health Science at Hywel Dda, said: “We’d like to reassure patients attending Andrews Medical Practice that they will continue to receive the treatment they require, and that the Practice is working through this temporary change.

“We apologise for any inconvenience to patients caused by this situation due to the short-notice change, and assure patients that every effort is being made to find replacement GPs.”

A spokesperson for Rosedale Medical Group added: “We are working closely with the local health board to provide continuity of GP services at Andrews Medical Practice, following the unexpected departure of Dr. Devichand at very short notice.

“There are temporary measures in place, while we consolidate a suitable long-term plan. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

By the afternoon, The Herald was contacted by Nia Griffith MP who told us: “I have now had reassurances from the Health Board that there will be a doctor at Dr Devichand’s surgery this afternoon.”

For the Board, Kathryn Davies said: “The Health Board and Rosedale Medical Group can confirm that, from [Tuesday, February 2], the Andrews Medical Practice in Llanelli will return to delivering a full GMS service with a full workforce.

“Following the short-notice retirement of Dr Devichand on Friday, a Rosedale GP partner from Neath Port Talbot has now been appointed to work at the practice all day, every day, on an ongoing basis.

“The practice will adopt a new triage system, which will involve all patients phoning in and a doctor then ringing them back to either book them in for an appointment, deal with the problem on the phone, or signpost patients to other healthcare professionals. Details of this system will be fully communicated to the public by the practice.

“It is important to note that patients will always be given a GP appointment if they want to see a GP specifically, and those patients that are invited in will be offered a time slot that is convenient to them.”

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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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News

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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Charity

Successful camping and riding weekends raise £1,400 for lifesaving charity

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MEMBERS from the North Wales branch Trail Riders Fellowship have presented the Wales Air Ambulance with a £1,400 donation following its successful camping and trail riding charity weekends.

The successful fundraiser, which was held for its members near Dolgellau, attracted around 60 members who took part over two weekends.

During both weekends donations were collected from each rider taking part. The riders took to the lanes both north and south of River Mawddach, where they were blessed with lovely weather.

This is not the first time they’ve supported the Wales Air Ambulance. They’ve raised around £3,000 during two previous events.

Reflecting on why the Wales Air Ambulance helicopter charity was chosen to benefit from the event, treasurer for North Wales TRF group, Mike Rowlands said: “We chose the Wales Air Ambulance knowing what a difference it can make when called upon to attend emergencies to all members of the public. It can’t be overstated how important our members see the value of this wonderful charity to the people of Wales.

“The club members are proud to contribute towards keeping the Wales Air Ambulance flying.”

The North Wales branch of the Trail Riders Fellowship promotes responsible trail riding on legal routes around North Wales.

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity emergency service offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care. 

Wales Air Ambulance’s Community Fundraiser Debra Sima was recently presented with the cheque of £1,400 by the North Wales Trail Riders Fellowship members at The Parrot, Drury.

A delighted Debra said: “A huge thank you to all the organisers and riders who took part in the two weekend events. We’re delighted that the North Wales branch of Trail Riders Fellowship has once again decided to support our lifesaving 24/7 charity. In total they’ve raised £4,400 for our Charity during three separate fundraisers, which is amazing. Their continued support will enable us to keep our helicopters in the air and our rapid response vehicles on the road. Thank you so much.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com.

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.

For more information on Trail Riders Fellowship visit http://trf.org.uk/

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