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New hospital unit is a ‘partial replacement’ for A&E

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Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 14.50.23PATIENTS attending Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital in an emergency can expect to be treated in a brand new purpose-built unit at the back of the hospital site from this week.

But a local councillor says that this unit “is the presentation of a bitter pill with a false sugar coating”.

Dr Sian Caiach says that the A&E has been “permanently taken away and replaced by a partial service of minor injury and illness treatment and selective admissions of sick patients.”

The Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) – which is part of the health board’s £1.4m Front of House Project at Prince Philip – will officially opened its doors to patients on Wednesday 6 April, having undergone trials over the past few weeks.

A new Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is also opening for patients via the old A&E entrance at the front of the hospital. This is run by GPs and Emergency Nurse Practitioners working together, and can treat patients with a range of problems from muscle and joint injuries to burns and scalds, minor head injuries, minor eye injuries and more.

Senior doctors and nurses in the AMAU will see patients with a wide range of problems including strokes and chest conditions. Patients go straight there if they come to hospital by ambulance or through their GP.

Patients can also be seen there who come to the MIU if they need medical care from senior doctors. If necessary the ambulance will take you straight there or your GP will tell you where you need to go.

The new AMAU features two resus bays, a fast positive stroke bed, assessment area / reception and lobby, and a six-bed monitored step-down area. It also sports a new ambulance entrance with a canopy and an AMAU reception area.

Dr Robin Ghosal, Clinical Lead for Prince Philip Hospital, said: “This is an exciting time for us. The launch of the new AMAU and MIU will modernise the way patients with acute medical illnesses or minor injuries are assessed and treated.

“What’s particularly good about the Front of House project is that we have all come at it from different angles, and what is exciting is that all of our angles are aligned in the end with one aim – to provide high-quality care for patients with acute medical illnesses or with minor injuries.

“We couldn’t have got to this point without the support of local residents, community representatives, including the Community Health Council and Rural Council, and members of lobby groups, and I would again like to thank them for their support and input.”

Speaking to The Herald on Thursday Dr Sian Caiach said: “As an Assembly candidate, local Councillor, and member of SOSPAN (the local campaign to retain medical services), I would say that this is the presentation of a bitter pill with a false sugar coating. The A&E has been permanently taken away and replaced by a partial service of minor injury and illness treatment and selective admissions of sick patients from Llanelli to the stand alone medical unit as not all medical conditions are suitable for the unit – if you call 999 in Llanelli you will most likely be taken to Glangwili but if referred by your GP with certain likely diagnoses, you may well get admitted to PPH.

“The loss of specialisms and surgical backup, now only available now at Glangwili means that it would be dangerous to admit anyone likely to require extra treatment. A full intensive care unit has also been removed from prince Philip Hospital, leaving less capacity to treat the very sick.

“It does keep the treatment of a fair number of sick people in a local hospital but the Hospital is effectively downgraded and has been slowly stripped of various services over the past two decades. This is a big smack in the face for Llanelli, the most populous town and area served by Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

Speaking to The Herald on Thursday Dr Sian Caiach said: “As an Assembly candidate, local Councillor, and member of SOSPAN (the local campaign to retain medical services), I would say that this is the presentation of a bitter pill with a false sugar coating. The A&E has been permanently taken away and replaced by a partial service of minor injury and illness treatment and selective admissions of sick patients from Llanelli to the stand alone medical unit as not all medical conditions are suitable for the unit – if you call 999 in Llanelli you will most likely be taken to Glangwili but if referred by your GP with certain likely diagnoses, you may well get admitted to PPH.

“The loss of specialisms and surgical backup, now only available now at Glangwili means that it would be dangerous to admit anyone likely to require extra treatment. A full intensive care unit has also been removed from prince Philip Hospital, leaving less capacity to treat the very sick.

“It does keep the treatment of a fair number of sick people in a local hospital but the Hospital is effectively downgraded and has been slowly stripped of various services over the past two decades. This is a big smack in the face for Llanelli, the most populous town and area served by Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

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Outdoor hospitality given go-ahead and rules on mixing outdoors relaxed in Wales

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SIX people will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday 24 April while outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26 April as cases of new COVID-19 infections continue to fall, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed today.

The current rule provides for up to six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) from a maximum of two households to meet outdoors.

The new rules from Saturday will allow six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) to meet outdoors.

People should observe social distancing from people from outside their household or support bubble when meeting others outside.

The rules for meeting indoors remain unchanged.

The First Minister has also confirmed outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April 2021.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “The public health context in Wales remains favourable, with cases falling and our vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength. Because meeting outdoors continues to be lower risk than meeting indoors, we are able to bring forward changes to allow any six people to meet outdoors.

“This will provide more opportunities for people, especially young people, to meet outdoors with their friends. This will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on people’s wellbeing.

“I’m also pleased to confirm outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April.

“These changes will help the hospitality sector recover after a difficult twelve months.

“It is thanks to the continuing efforts of people across Wales we are able to introduce this change. Together, we will continue to keep Wales safe.”

On Friday (23rd April 2021), the First Minister will confirm further relaxations to the covid rules that will come into force on Monday 26 April 2021.

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Scientists issue urgent appeal for help on ground-breaking Covid genetic study

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SCIENTISTS involved in a ground-breaking COVID-19 genetic research study are urgently asking people across Wales who caught the virus to donate a small amount of blood to their project.

To help encourage as many people as possible to join the study, volunteers are now able to quickly and easily book an appointment for a nurse to visit their home and donate a sample.

The unique GenOMICC COVID-19 Study, which is being delivered in Wales through Health and Care Research Wales, analyses the genes of people who have had the virus to discover why some experienced mild or no symptoms while others became extremely ill. The study is already contributing to the fight again COVID, with preliminary results helping identify possible new treatments.

study open to anyone who caught COVID but didn’t need hospital treatment

However, for the study to continue to make progress, the scientists urgently need to recruit 2,500 more people from all backgrounds. Along with seeking the help of members of Asian and Black communities, they’re also keen for more men to volunteer.

The home appointment system has already proved popular when the scheme was launched in Scotland and Bradford earlier this year – and with lockdown restrictions beginning to be eased in Wales, organisers are hoping for a similar response from people across the country.

“This study has one key objective – to help us understand why COVID-19 has impacted different groups in different ways,” said Dr Matt Morgan, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at the University Hospital of Wales and Specialty Lead for Critical Care at Health and Care Research Wales.

“Across the UK, a disproportionate number of people who ended up in hospital have been male as well as people with Asian and Black heritage – that’s why we need people from these groups in particular to join the study as soon as possible.”

“If you are eligible, please register and join the project. You’ll be making a direct contribution to helping improve our knowledge of the virus and discovering new ways of beating it.”

scientists issue urgent appeal for assistance to help them identify new treatments

Dr Kenneth Baillie, the study’s Chief Investigator, said: “We’re appealing for more volunteers from all walks of life to come forward and register. We need to find people who tested positive for COVID but experienced either mild or no symptoms and didn’t require hospital treatment. To maximise the study’s potential, it’s important these volunteers are similar in age, gender and ethnicity of those people who were severely affected and hospitalised.”

Professor Sir Mark Caulfied, Chief Scientist at Genomics England added: “The quicker this research can be completed, the faster we can solve the COVID-19 puzzle and protect vulnerable people.

Genetic research into COVID-19 is now playing an increasingly important role in our fight against the virus, enabling us to identify new forms of the virus and develop treatments.

“The findings from the GenOMICC COVID-19 Study will improve the treatment, care and outcome for those most at risk and lower the number of deaths.”

Dr Nicola Williams, Director of Support and Delivery at Health and Care Research Wales, said: “It’s vital we learn as much as possible about COVID-19 and to do that we need people to volunteer to take part in research. By introducing an appointment booking system, the GenOMICC COVID-19 Study is giving people the opportunity to contribute to potentially life-saving research from their own homes. These contributions can help provide the evidence we need to give all patients the best possible outcome.”

The research project is open to anyone who tested positive to COVID-19 but experienced mild or no symptoms and didn’t require hospital treatment – volunteers can register online here.

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A Llanelli household is hospitalised following reports of an “unknown substance”

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REPORTS of an “unknown substance” at a Llanelli property led to a multi-agency operation.

Police, ambulance and the fire service descended on a property in a village, just outside of Five Roads, Llanelli,  following reports of members of the household feeling unwell and the presence of an “unknown substance”.

Three members of the household in Five Roads, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire were taken to hospital as a precaution.

Emergency services were alerted to members of the household feeling unwell and the presence of an ‘unknown substance’ on Sunday, April 11 at 7.30am.

The ambulance service were first on the scene with one rapid response vehicle, four emergency ambulances and the Hazardous Area Response Team and were supported by police and the fire service.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called to a residential property in the village of Five Roads, Llanelli at 7.30am on Sunday, April 11 to reports of three people needing medical attention.

“We responded with one rapid response vehicle, four emergency ambulances and our Hazardous Area Response Team.

“Three patients were taken to Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen, for further treatment.”

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) assisted the police and ambulance service, deploying a specialist officer and an Environmental Protection Unit to the property.

The service ventilated the property and remained on the scene until 5.29pm.

A MAWWFRS spokesperson said: “At 7:44am, crews from Llanelli were called to assist the ambulance service and police at an incident in a property in Five Roads, Llanelli.

“An unknown substance was found at the property and its occupants reported feeling unwell.

“The occupants were taken to hospital by the ambulance service.”

“The incident was contained to one property and there were no concerns for the wider community of Five Roads.”

A Dyfed-Powys Police Spokesperson confirmed the force assisted in the multi-operation incident.

A spokesperson said:: “Members of one household in the village were feeling unwell, and were taken to hospital for assessment.

“They were found to have no medical concerns.

“Following examination of the scene by a number of agencies, there was no cause for further investigation into the incident.”

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