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Wales’ critical care beds full

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• Increase in beds planned
• Hospitals ‘safe for most patients’
• Call for COVID-free sites

THE HEAD of the Welsh NHS, Dr Andrew Goodall, delivered a sobering assessment of the nation’s capacity to handle any sharp increase in the number of patients requiring critical care.

He also said any benefits from the Welsh Government’s ‘firebreak’ lockdown would not filter through the system for several weeks.

Speaking at a press conference at Tuesday lunchtime (Nov 2), Dr Goodall said although Welsh hospitals were well-prepared for the usual winter pressures, cases of coronavirus meant they faced challenges to maintain services over the coming months.
Andrew Goodall said all of Wales’ critical care beds were now occupied.

Coronavirus patients occupy a third of critical care beds. The balance of critical care beds is occupied by the normal number of patients needing critical care.

Dr Goodall said an increase in critical care beds was possible to absorb a rise in coronavirus cases.

He will know, however, that any increase in critical care beds will run into the problem of finding suitably-qualified and experienced staff to attend patients occupying them.

Diverting existing staff to critical care units from other specialisms within the Welsh NHS will have a knock-on effect on other NHS services.

Macmillan Cancer Support has already expressed its concerns about cancer patients falling through the cracks in NHS staffing caused by the coronavirus.

In a report on COVID-19’S effects on cancer treatment, the charity says: ‘The NHS must ringfence the capacity needed to keep COVID-protected cancer services running, with no redeployment of staffing or repurposing of resources’.

Andrew Goodall also revealed that around one in forty of all cases reported nationally were attributable to patients contracting coronavirus while in hospital. The NHS identified 192 likely cases of transmission in hospitals during the previous week.

He added the prevalence of COVID in the wider population meant excluding from closed clinical settings was all-but impossible.
Dr Goodall stressed the spread of the virus in hospitals was nothing to do with poor infection control but reflected COVID’s infectiousness. It can be passed in its pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic, and symptomatic stages.

Dr Goodall emphasised that hospital care is safe.

Everyone admitted to hospital is tested. Six percent of those admitted to hospital test positive for COVID, regardless of whether they attend for treatment for the virus or not. Even the worst-affected area of Wales (Rhondda Cynon Taf) only three percent of hospital admissions are directly related to coronavirus infection. Over eighty-five percent of available NHS beds in Wales do not have coronavirus patients.

Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “People must have confidence that the Government is doing all it can to urgently provide ‘Green’ COVID-free, or ‘COVID-light’ sites for diagnosis and treatment.

“Given how quickly the virus can spread when it gets into health and care settings, they must have confidence also in steps taken to keep the virus out in the first place. I don’t want people who may need treatment deciding to stay away, shoring up more serious problems for themselves and the health service.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, 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 DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20221112-109

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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