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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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We are recruiting – staff needed

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The council is urgently seeking more staff as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

We are looking to recruit people into a number of jobs throughout Carmarthenshire to help keep frontline services running, but particularly need carers, cleaners and catering staff.

No previous experience is needed, as full training will be provided.

The council offers good rates of pay and flexible hours. Full and part-time, permanent and temporary contracts are available.

The council also has vacancies for social workers so if you have the relevant qualifications and experience please get in touch.

Deputy Leader Cllr Mair Stephens, executive board member for recruitment and training, said: “It is vital that we keep our essential frontline services running during this crisis; and as a result, we have some vacancies that we need to fill immediately.

“We may also start to see staff shortages in some areas in the coming weeks, so we need to be prepared to fill these.

“We are urging people who are in a position to apply for these jobs to please contact us, your community needs you. Don’t worry if you don’t have experience in these areas as full training will be given.

“As well as recruiting new staff, we are also redeploying staff where possible from non-critical services to other roles as and when needed.

“I want to reassure residents we are doing all we can to protect frontline services during this extremely difficult and uncertain time.”

We want to make the application process as easy as possible, so only the mandatory fields on the application form will need to be completed along with a brief statement. Applicants will be contacted by telephone following their application.

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Over 100 iPads handed out to council care homes

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More than 100 iPads are being handed out to council care homes in Carmarthenshire so that residents can communicate face to face with their loved ones.

It comes after visiting restrictions were placed on residential homes across the UK in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The 110 tablets will be distributed across the seven homes, which accommodate 248 beds, and will ensure residents maintain contact via video calling their families and relatives whilst they are staying indoors to protect from the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Staff have been working closely with families to ensure they keep contact with their loved ones in this evolving situation.

Executive board member for social care, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “We are pleased we have been able to provide all our care homes with iPads which will help residents to keep in touch with their family members during these unprecedented and challenging times. Understandably these necessary restrictions placed on our care homes will cause distress to both the relative and resident so the use of this technology will hopefully help to close that gap. Already we have seen some positive results and residents have been overjoyed to see their family faces.”

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Abergwili: Police investigate death of couple in property on High Street

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the sudden death of a man and a woman who died in a property at High Street, Abergwili, Carmarthen.

A spokesman said: “Police were called to the address shortly after 6pm on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Officers are currently investigating the circumstances of the deaths, which are being treated as unexplained.

“They are not being linked to COVID-19 at this time.

“Next of kin and HM Coroner are aware.”

The family said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John David Bound and Gwendoline Christine Bound.

“The family wish for their privacy to be respected in their time of grief.”

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