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Carmarthenshire Ventilator Production Boost

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Fight against Covid-19 given huge boost by design and production in west Wales of new ventilator device to save countless lives.

A senior consultant at Glangwili Hospital Carmarthen and an Ammanford company have designed a device to help hospitalised Covid-19 patients breathe. The device, termed a Covid Emergency Ventilator, has been given the go-ahead by Welsh Government. A hundred of these ventilators can be made every day to save a huge number of lives.

Dr Rhys Thomas, a consultant anaesthetist, devised the machine based on his extensive military and civilian experience in anaesthetics and resuscitation with advice from courageous doctors fighting Covid-19 in Bergamo, Italy.

“I was desperately concerned about the lack of intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators to deal with the inevitable pandemic,” Dr. Thomas said. “Earlier this week, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price challenged me to come up with a simpler but potentially as effective device, and put me in touch with Maurice Clark of CR Clark Betws, Ammanford – an engineering company specialising in Thermoforming and Plastic Fabrication equipment.

“After designing, constructing and trialling several prototypes in just three days, we came up with a device that worked perfectly. It is simple and robust and specifically designed to work against Covid virus in a contagious environment. Although it won’t replace an ICU ventilator, the majority of patients won’t need intensive care if they are treated with this ventilator first, releasing ICU ventilators for more serious Covid-19 cases and other general medical cases.”

“The machine has other benefits in that it will clean the room of viral particles and only supply purified air to the patient. The patient can self-care as specialist nurses are not required releasing them for other duties.”

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price AM praised all those involved in producing the life-saving device which places Wales on the front foot in the battle against Covid-19. “This has been a truly amazing achievement. I cannot praise too highly Dr Rhys Thomas for his skill, his dedicated staff at Glangwili hospital who tested the device, as well as CR Clark & Co for responding so swiftly. It’s fantastic that we have such brilliant expertise in Carmarthenshire to create and deliver this new device in volume at such short notice.

“I also comment the Welsh Government for its confidence in Dr Rhys’ ability by giving his life-saving device the immediate go-ahead for production. This is an outstanding example of co-operation at its best. It shows that Wales, as a small nation, can get things done quickly as we face the biggest challenge of our generation.”

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards added: “This shows what we can achieve as a nation with swift political leadership. When this crisis is over lets hope that Ammanford, Carmarthenshire and Wales will have a notable mention for how people got together to meet the challenges of the biggest challenge faced by humankind for a century.”

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Carmarthenshire towns win two prestigious awards

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has congratulated two local town councils for their success in the One Voice Wales Awards.

Pembrey and Burry Port Council won the Best Community Engagement category for the multi channels of communication it has set up which enables the community to participate in any decisions the council takes. It was also recognised for the shadow forums set up in both primary and secondary schools to ensure the younger generation have a voice.

Kidwelly Town Council won the Best Devolution of Service or Asset Project category for acquiring ownership of Parc Stephens play area from Carmarthenshire County Council in 2019 as part of the asset transfer process. Since then it has increased accessibility and inclusivity for a wide age range of children and includes a sensory garden.

Carmarthen Town Council was highly commended in the Best Annual Report category.

One Voice Wales is recognised by Welsh Government as the national representative body for Community and Town Councils in Wales, providing a wide range of services to our 634 member councils representing approximately 8000 councillors.

This year’s awards ceremony has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths who is responsible for liasing with town and community councils said: “I’d like to congratulate Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council and Kidwelly Town Council on winning the awards. It just goes to show the great work being done across Carmarthenshire and more importantly how we are working with the communities to meet their needs. I’d also like to congratulate Carmarthen Town Council on the commendation.”

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Woman arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply

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AN AMMANFORD woman has been arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers were on patrol in the Glanamman area on when they saw the woman driving a silver Peugeot away from them.

They were aware that the driver had no driver’s licence, and that she was suspected of being involved in supplying class A drugs in and around Ammanford.

Additional units made their way to her home, where the car was stopped. A search of the vehicle resulted in class A drugs being found, and she was arrested.

Further searches were carried out by the response team and dog unit. Around 16g of cocaine, some amphetamine, and some cannabis were found.

A 42-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply, possession and driving offences. The vehicle was also seized.

She has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Sergeant Walters said: “This was a very swift response to information relayed by colleagues who recognised the woman and were aware that she should not have been driving.

“Ammanford Neighbourhood Policing Team, response teams and the dog unit worked closely together to achieve a positive outcome.”

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Play equipment gifted to children with disabilities

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CHILDREN with disabilities in Carmarthenshire have been gifted play equipment by the county council during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 26 children are already making use of new play materials and outdoor equipment which are helping to maintain their health and well-being during the lockdown.

Items such as garden swing seats, paddling pools, tablets, sensory black out tents, trampolines are making a huge difference to them whilst staying at home.

It comes after funding was set aside for those identified by the council’s social workers or disability intervention staff as needing extra support, and subject to an assessment.

Anna Martin, whose son Finlay has benefited from a garden swing said: “Finlay has spent many an hour calmly swinging in the garden. It has been great for him to spend time with the family outdoors. Fin is like a ‘toddler’ and enjoys a cwtch and a nap so the fact that this turns into a bed has been a big hit! It has certainly perked him up during lockdown.”

Funds are still available and anyone who is supported by the council’s disability service can ask their support worker for an assessment.

The council’s executive board member for children’s services, Cllr Glynog Davies said: “The restrictions of the current lockdown have been a huge challenge for all families, but particularly for those with a child who is disabled or has autism. Our teams identified that for some families having extra play materials or outdoor play equipment could make a massive difference to children’s wellbeing. We established a process where staff from our specialist teams could assess if families would benefit from this type of help. We have been able to purchase and arrange delivery of a number of items so far and we’re delighted to see what a difference it has made.”

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