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Younger generation urged to ‘help fight against blood cancer’



THE FIRST person to ever donate bone marrow in Wales is calling on more 17 to 30-year-olds to help fight against blood cancer ahead of World Cancer Day (Friday 4 February).

Each year three in ten blood cancer patients will not find the potentially life-saving bone marrow match they need, which is why Julie Penketh and the Welsh Blood Service are encouraging more people to join the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

Since donating her bone marrow three decades ago, Julie has continued to urge others to join by donating blood or by returning a home-delivered, needle-free swab-kit, which can be ordered in minutes online.

Julie commented: “If you’re fit, healthy, and aged between 17 and 30, you must consider joining the Registry. The new swab-kit service only takes a few minutes, you can do it in the privacy of your home at a time that suits you, and you could go on to save someone’s life.

The new swab kits can be done from the comfort of your own home and only take a few minutes to complete

“It’s a really proud feeling thinking I may have helped someone in need, and I hope more people will come forward knowing what a difference they can make. Overall, my donation experience was a hugely positive one and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again.

“I have children and grandchildren now. Touch wood none of them will need a transplant like this, but you never know. I would urge anyone eligible to do something amazing today and sign up to the panel.”

Blood cancers stop bone marrow from working correctly and for these patients, the best hope of recovery is to receive a bone marrow transplant. Registries across the globe are searched every day by healthcare professionals looking for suitable bone marrow matches for their blood cancer patients.

Dr Keith Wilson, a Consultant Haematologist at University Hospital of Wales, explains: “Blood cancer patients worldwide face a daily, and increasingly urgent, search for a suitable bone marrow match. The requirements for matching a patient with a bone marrow donor are very specific, which is why we need to continue increasing the number of people on the Registry. This is the best way to give more blood cancer patients the chance to overcome the disease.”

Currently, over 50,000 patients across the globe are hoping to find a suitable bone marrow match from an unrelated donor.

Christopher Harvey, Head of the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry, said: “The chances of being chosen as the perfect match for a patient anywhere in the world is extremely rare, but the opportunity to find a life-saving match increases as more donors sign up.

“It’s an awe-inspiring concept. You could be the one and only person in the world who could be the match – and that’s why we need more people to sign up to the Welsh Bone Marrow Registry and increase a patient’s chance of survival.”

If you are aged between 17 and 30, visit to start your journey in the fight against blood cancer.

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Hywel Dda Health Charities use donations to create a tranquil room for their staff members



Thanks to donations, Hywel Dda Health Charities has bought comfy chairs and coffee tables for the refurbished staff room in Padarn respiratory ward at Glangwili Hospital.
Padarn Ward has moved to a new, permanent location and the staff room has been improved to make it a more relaxing area.
Lynwen Williams, Senior Operational Liaison Officer for Unscheduled Care at Glangwili Hospital, said: “The new furniture will help with staff wellbeing, making it more comfortable and inviting.
“The hospital’s League of Friends has also paid for a mural to decorate the staff room, so it is now a tranquil place.”
Nicola Llewellyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive.”
If you would like to support your local NHS, please visit

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Mae Elusennau Iechyd Hywel Dda yn defnyddio rhoddion i greu ystafell dawel ar gyfer eu haelodau staff



Diolch i roddion, mae Elusennau Iechyd Hywel Dda wedi prynu cadeiriau cyfforddus a byrddau coffi ar gyfer yr ystafell staff wedi’i hadnewyddu yn ward anadlol Padarn yn Ysbyty Glangwili.
Mae Ward Padarn wedi symud i leoliad newydd, parhaol ac mae’r ystafell staff wedi’i gwella i’w gwneud yn ardal fwy ymlaciol.
Dywedodd Lynwen Williams, Uwch Swyddog Cyswllt Gweithredol ar gyfer Gofal Heb ei Drefnu yn Ysbyty Glangwili: “Bydd y dodrefn newydd yn helpu gyda lles staff, gan ei wneud yn fwy cyfforddus a deniadol.
“Mae Cynghrair Cyfeillion yr ysbyty hefyd wedi talu am furlun i addurno ystafell y staff, felly mae bellach yn lle tawel.”
Ychwanegodd Nicola Llewellyn, Pennaeth Elusennau Iechyd Hywel Dda, elusen swyddogol Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda: “Mae cefnogaeth ein cymunedau lleol yn ein galluogi i ddarparu gwasanaethau y tu hwnt i’r hyn y gall y GIG ei ddarparu yn nhair sir Hywel Dda ac rydym yn hynod ddiolchgar am bob rhodd a dderbyniwn.”
Os hoffech gefnogi eich GIG lleol, ewch i

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Council end contract with Plas Y Bryn Care Home



FOLLOWING significant concerns with its financial position and an inability to pay their staff and creditors, Carmarthenshire County Council has had to give notice on its contract to provide care with Plas Y Bryn Care Home, Cwmgwili. 

The residents at Plas Y Bryn are being supported by the council to find new homes by a dedicated team of social workers and managers.

Whilst this has come as a great disappointment to the Council, we have been providing significant financial support to ensure that the care company can meet its financial obligations and that care is not impacted. This has included bringing regular payments in advance to enable the company to pay staff salaries.

As a result, the council has had to take the difficult decision to give notice to the care company. The decision has not been taken lightly and we share the deep concerns that the people living and working in the care home will have.

There have been continued attempts to work with the operators to understand their financial position. A variety of alternative options have been considered but, unfortunately, due to the legal and financial circumstances that surround the care company, there are no viable solutions that can be found at this time.

We would like to recognise and thank the staff within Plas Y Bryn Care Home for their commitment to delivering high-quality care and highlight that the quality of care has at no point been a contributing factor to this difficult decision.

Cllr. Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services, Carmarthenshire County Council, said:

“The welfare of the residents at Plas Y Bryn is of the utmost importance and we have acted quickly to support the care home to continue to provide excellent care of its residents.

“We are supporting residents along with their families and next of kin, during what is a very difficult and distressing situation, to find suitable and adequate accommodation for them to find new homes.

“On behalf of the council, I would like to express my gratitude to the staff at Plas Y Bryn for their invaluable work at the care home. We are also supporting them during this hard period as they continue to provide care to the residents.”

Ahead of the contract coming to an end, the council will be working with people and their families over the coming weeks to find new homes where they can receive the care and support that they require. Wherever possible, we will do our best to ensure that people are supported to move to locations of choice. Residents are also being provided with access to advocacy services to support them through this difficult time.

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