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Health Board ‘working hard’ to fill GP gaps



HYWEL DDA UHB has announced that it has managed to fill gaps in the rota for the out of hours GP service at Prince Philip Hospital, meaning that the service will be available this weekend.

However, at the time of writing, the board has not been able to staff the Friday night out of hours service at Glangwili Hospital.

Yesterday (Mar 8) it emerged that following last Sunday’s closure of the Prince Philip out of hours service Hywel Dda UHB was unable to staff the evening service on Thursday or Friday night.

Llanelli MP Nia Griffith described the situation as ‘completely unacceptable’.

“To make matters worse, the Health Board have not yet been able to staff the Friday evening shift at Glangwili Hospital. So even those Llanelli residents who are able to travel to Carmarthen to get urgent care may find themselves with nowhere to turn tomorrow night. In any case, no-one should be having to take a sick relative all the way to Carmarthen or Swansea.

“Shortly afterwards, Hywel Dda UHB released an updated statement, which said that the health board was ‘finding it increasingly difficult’ to staff rotas.

“While there remain gaps in the Out of Hours rota the only site that currently doesn’t have cover is Glangwili Hospital on Friday evening,” they added.

“The situation is changing quickly and an update will be provided on Friday afternoon 09.3.18 – please keep an eye on our website for further details. Regardless of rotas anyone in Carmarthenshire who is unwell and needs to see a GP should call 111.”

“I have written to the Chief Executive of Hywel Dda demanding a meeting and an explanation for why this has been allowed to happen. It is vital that we keep the out-of-hours GP service open in Llanelli, so I will be pressing the Health Board to explain how it plans to prevent further temporary closures and ensure a long-term future for the service.”

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations Joe Teape said: “I would like to apologise for any concern or inconvenience caused due to ongoing staffing issues in the Out of Hours GP service. This is currently a familiar trend among other health boards across the country. We know that all of our staff and GPs are working really hard to provide safe services for our patients and we appreciate this. We are working together across the whole health board area and across different services to provide a safety net for our patients.

“The public’s health is our number one priority and although we sometimes cannot achieve everything that we want to achieve, we are doing our utmost to ensure that we can continue to provide services that are safe and robust for our local communities.”

In the instance of rotas not being filled, Hywel Dda UHB advised that other health care services such as minor injury units, 111 and community pharmacy, continue to be available. If after a telephone based GP assessment has been completed and someone needs to see a GP face to face they could be asked to travel to a neighbouring county within the Hywel Dda region to see the nearest available GP (the nearest available GP which may be Glangwili or Prince Philip Hospital if one of the rotas can be filled, or Withybush General Hospital, Haverfordwest, or their nearest alternative GP as instructed by 111 operators).

Following the updated statement, Lee Waters AM said he had received ‘a detailed briefing’ on the efforts made by
the health board to fill the gaps in the rota.

“With some their regular GPs away and one off sick they are really struggling to find enough Doctors provide cover, and they are having problems in Glangwili too,” he added.

“Nobody thinks this is good enough.

“The Chief Executive assures me he thinks things should be back to normal by the end of the month but they are expecting some problems in the meantime.

“This is not only a problem in our health board but right across the UK at the moment. The NHS is under enormous strain.

“We can help by using the pharmacy, NHS Direct and the 111 phone service.

“And the Health Board needs to do more to actively recruit more GPs from across the area to help out in out of hours.

If you live in Carmarthenshire and are unwell out of hours during the evenings and weekend you can do a number of things:
• for health information and advice, including online symptom checkers, please visit NHS Direct Wales:
• call 111 – they can help to signpost you to the right service, for example a GP, nurse, pharmacist or Minor Injury Unit, they also provide health information on a wide range of conditions for self care if appropriate
• use your community pharmacy, some of these have enhanced services like ‘triage and treat’ for treatment of minor conditions, including Burry Port Pharmacy
• for a minor injury, you can visit Prince Philip Hospital’s Minor Injury Unit, which is open 24/7
• ONLY in an emergency for serious or life-threatening conditions should you dial 999


Armed Forces members receive ‘highest honour’



THE QUEEN’S representative for Dyfed has given the ‘highest honour’ to members of the Armed Forces community from across the county and encouraged them to use it as an ‘instrument of good.’

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed Miss Sara Edwards held an event at Picton Barracks in Carmarthen and was joined by more than 70 guests.

“This is a very important evening for the Lieutenancy calendar,” said Miss Edwards.

“I have the honour of being Her Majesty’s personally appointed Lord-Lieutenant in the county of Dyfed and I am well aware of the significance of this occasion.”

Six teenagers were appointed as HM Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets for Dyfed in 2018, which will see them represent their peers and respective organisations at local and national level occasions.

The group included; 17-year-old Leading Cadet Courtney Jones from Llanelli Sea Cadet Corps (SCC), 16-year-old Able Cadet Duncan Parry from Milford Haven SCC, 17-year-old Cadet Sergeant Natasha Schoeman from Burry Port Army Cadet Force (ACF), Cadet Warrant Officer Daniel Ramsbottom and Cadet Flight Sergeant Carwyn Lloyd-Jones from No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets, as well Cadet Warrant Officer 2nd Class Oliver Trigg fom Llandovery College Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

Miss Edwards said: “To be appointed a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet is among the highest honours a Cadet can receive. Whether on parade with me for Royal visits, Church services or accompanying me to a hospital or a care home, you will be ambassadors not just for your organisation or indeed the Lieutenancy but, may I say, for all of the young people in your region.

“It is a role to relish, be proud of and to use for an instrument of good. I look forward to being supported and assisted by you at every opportunity. As Her Majesty The Queen herself has said, with enough training, you can do anything.”

They were selected for their outstanding extra-curricular achievements and will now accompany HM Lord-Lieutenant at official engagements. It will include playing an active role at ceremonial events, such as Royal visits and Remembrance services held in Dyfed.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed’s Cadets for 2017 received a badge and certificate for their year of service. The group included; Leading Cadet Huw Jenkins from Fishguard SCC, Mr Niall Hooper formerly of Milford Haven SCC, Cadet Company Sergeant Major Sion Jones from Dyfed and Glamorgan ACF, Cadet Warrant Officer Holly Powell from Llandovery College CCF and Cadet Warrant Officers Abigail Beckett and Daniel Clements from No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets.

There are more than 4,400 Cadets in Wales who come from the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and RAF Air Cadets. There are 1,200 youth volunteers who provide opportunities for Cadets to grow through life changing experiences, gain new skills and achieve qualifications as they enjoy fun with friends.

The group included; Captain Christopher Burge from Fishguard SCC, Squadron Leader Mark Rosser and Civilian Instructor Andrew Lewis from 621 (Carmarthen) Squadron RAF Air Cadets.

The event was organised by RFCA for Wales – an organisation that has supported the Armed Forces for over 100 years. RFCA for Wales is the enabling voice for Reserves and Cadets in Wales.

The Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit was awarded to Major Wynne Jones MBE. The Llanelli Reservist joined the Army in 1983 and retires later this month. During this time, he has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reservists as vital and valued members of the Defence family. They enhance their everyday lives through adventurous and challenging experiences, learning transferable skills useful for their civilian lives and employment.

To learn more about opportunities available, visit:

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Carmarthen: Police want help following calls about a 11-year-old girl



POLICE officers are in King Street, Carmarthen are following reports of a young female, approximately 11-years-old, in a distressed state.

Police said she is wearing a black hooded coat, and black shoes.

The appeal was launched on Sunday afternoon (Mar 18).

A spokesman said: “If anyone has any information, please contact the force on 101 reference 206”

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Cross Hands: Firearms officers arrest ‘distressed man’ following weapon claim



ARMED officers have arrested a man described by a 999 caller as distressed and in possession of a weapon in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire.

The incident took place at a residential property at around lunch time.

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We received a report at approximately 12.10pm this afternoon (Mar 17) of a distressed man, possibly in possession of a weapon at an address in Cross Hands.

“There were serious concerns for the safety of all at the scene, and officers attended supported by firearms officers as a precaution.

“The man was safely detained, arrested for a criminal damage offence and conveyed to custody, where he remains.


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