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Physiotherapy ‘crisis’ revealed

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Glangwili Hospital: 39% of patients wait longer than 14 weeks for physio

DATA released by the Welsh Government has revealed that more than half the adult patients across Wales waiting more than 14 weeks for physiotherapy were in the Hywel Dda UHB area. 

In the same week that Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas expressed concern at physiotherapist staffing levels at the acute stroke unit at Glangwili Hospital, new figures have highlighted the extent of the crisis in west Wales.

The Welsh Government target for patients to start physiotherapy treatment is 14 weeks. But the latest available data, published on Thursday , January 14 , reveals that patients in Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) account for more than half of all Welsh adults waiting more than the 14 week target.

One year ago just 21 adults in Hywel Dda were waiting more than 14 weeks – equivalent to 0.7% of the health board’s waiting list for adult physiotherapy, and just 3.2% of the waiting list across the whole of Wales.

Today, however, 1,008 patients are waiting more than 14 weeks – equivalent to 21% of the health board’s waiting list and 55.3% of all adults waiting across Wales.

Glangwili Hosptial, Carmarthen is the worst performing hospital for adult physiotherapy with a staggering 39% of patients – 421 – waiting longer than 14 weeks for treatment. This is up from just five a year ago. In Prince Phillip Hospital, 321 patients were waiting longer than 14 weeks, compared to two the year before.

In response to concerns raised by Rhodri Glyn Thomas Hywel Dda UHB Director of Operations, Joe Teape, accepted there was a need to “strengthen staffing levels” at Glangwili and pointed to a “national shortage of qualified physiotherapists.”

These comments have been questioned by former Plaid Cymru MP and Assembly candidate, Adam Price, who said Welsh Government data does not indicate a problem in most of Wales’s health boards.

Calling for greater support from the Health Minister, Adam Price said: “Four of the seven health boards in Wales have between 0 and ten adults waiting more than 14 weeks to start physiotherapy treatment. That figure is 1,008 in Hywel Dda – up from just 21 people a year ago. Of all adults across the country waiting more than 14 weeks to start physiotherapy over half of them are waiting in west Wales.

“With figures as startling as that, it’s difficult to accept that what’s happening in our local hospitals is the consequence of a national problem.

“If the health board believes there is indeed a national problem then there is clearly a pressing need for the Health Minister to accept responsibility and arrive at an urgent solution.

“Physiotherapy is an important treatment for patients suffering from a whole host of issues. Whether it’s those recovering from a stroke or orthopaedic surgery, to those who may have simply broken a bone, rehabilitation through physiotherapy can often be vital, and unnecessary delays can make recovery longer, more painful and more difficult.

“With such a rapid increase in waiting times over the last year it is imperative the health board is given all the tools and resources it needs to get to grips with this crisis in adult physiotherapy.

“It’s simply not good enough, as we have seen this week, for the Health Minister to wash his hands of Hywel Dda. He needs to step up immediately.”

In response, Hywel Dda UHB reiterated their claim that staffing problems were caused by a national staffing shortage.

Joe Teape, Director of Operations for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “The UHB recognises that waiting times for physiotherapy outpatient appointments have increased and we sincerely apologise to any patients who have been waiting for treatment.

“I wish to reassure our community that we are working very hard to reduce waiting times which, at present, are unacceptable.

“Whilst the Board has increased community therapy staffing levels to provide weekend services, it acknowledges as part of its future development plan there is now a requirement to strengthen staffing levels to support acute services in Glangwili Hospital. This will ensure that the service is more sustainable and robust.

“During this period the UHB continues to try to secure competent locum physiotherapists whilst working with our recruitment team to fill established vacancies. There is a national shortage of qualified physiotherapists and so recruitment remains a challenge due to limited availability of suitable agency staff and the availability of qualified physiotherapists within the area.”

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Boris Johnson expected to resign as Prime Minister today

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THE PRIME MINISTER, Boris Johnson is expected to tender his resignation today, according to sources close to Number 10.

Less than a month on from surviving a leadership challenge, the PM’s premiership will come to an end after senior ministers were among those to quit the government in protest at Downing Street’s handling of a series of recent scandals.

The latest of these being Mr Johnson promoting Chris Pincher to the role of deputy chief whip in February despite being told of a sexual misconduct complaint against the Tamworth MP in 2019.

On Tuesday, the PM apologised for allowing this job move to take place – but this did not stop the resignations of both his health secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor Rishi Sunak minutes later.

By Thursday morning, more than 50 Conservative MPs had resigned from their government roles.

Commenting on the news that the Prime Minister will be resigning today as Conservative Party Leader, Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said: “I’ve always said it was essential for the Prime Minister to hold the confidence of our country, party and parliament. Clearly, that is no longer the case.

“Boris Johnson’s legacy will always be that he ended the deadlock and got Brexit done, delivering on the will of the British people.

“As well as securing a historic victory in 2019, Boris ensured our return to freedom out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Regrettably, it has now become very difficult for him to deliver on the mandate he secured.

“As a friend and supporter of the Prime Minister, I recognise his achievements over the last three years. It now falls to the Conservative Party to select a new leader to deliver on our manifesto commitments for the remainder of this parliament.

“I wish him, Carrie and the rest of his family all the best for the future and thank him for his service to our country.”

Reacting to the resignation of the Prime Minister Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

“Finally this whole sorry and undignified saga has come to an end. It was always abundantly clear that Boris Johnson was unfit to be Prime Minister and those that backed him to the hilt have a responsibility for the mess and destruction he and his brand of populism has had on our country.

“The Welsh public won’t forgive so many Welsh Conservative MPs for propping up Boris Johnson for so long against various scandals while at the same time ordinary families were struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

“Johnson or no Johnson, for many former Conservative voters the party they once knew is beyond redemption and will not be coming back.”

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Werndale Hospital recognised for outstanding patient care in national award

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STAFF at Werndale Hospital near Carmarthen have been recognised for the quality of their patient care. 

The prestigious ‘Private Hospital Group of the Year’ award is presented to an organisation that has shown excellence in its delivery of care, commitment to the community and innovation within healthcare.

Werndale Hospital was also recognised for their initiatives to support staff in their career progression and wellbeing.   

The latest statistics show, 98% of patients at Werndale Hospital were satisfied with their overall level of care, 98% of patients would recommend their care to family and friends, and 98% of patients rated the nursing staff as excellent or very good. 

In addition, independent analysis of Circle hospitals’ hip and knee procedure outcomes of health improvement shows that Circle scored 8.4 versus an independent sector average of 7.8 in the hip category, and a score of 15.4 versus an independent sector average of 13.9 in the knee category.   

The award presented to Circle Health Group, owners of Werndale Hospital, in London in June, also noted the extraordinary contribution the teams at the hospital had made to the community. 

In 2021 alone, Werndale Hospital partnered with Air Ambulance Wales and raised £1,205 to support the charity’s work in the community.  

In addition to the charitable work, Werndale Hospital was recognised for it’s commitment to support staff through a series of wellbeing initiatives and career development opportunities. The judges were particularly impressed with the launch of the ‘Be Heard’ survey at the hospital.   

The survey looks to empower staff to feedback on everything from the working environment at the hospital through to their own career ambitions. Building directly on the feedback from this survey, the ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign was launched which supported staff to work towards specific qualifications from nursing degrees with partnered universities through to bespoke management programmes and MBA qualifications.   

As a direct result of this support for staff at what is a challenging time for healthcare workers, Werndale Hospital and Circle Heath Group were recognised as being a Top 20 Best Large Company to work for.   

At the heart of Werndale Hospital’s approach to treating patients is a commitment to the community they serve.  

 Paolo Pieri, CEO of Circle Health Group, said:  “The award is a testament to what an amazing year 2021 was for Werndale Hospital with considerable investment into the facilities and services on offer to patients in west Wales. I couldn’t be prouder of what our staff and doctors have achieved.”  

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Aberglasney Gardens delighted to win 2022 Trip advisor Travellers’ Choice Award

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ABERGLASNEY Gardens is thrilled to have been recognised by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travellers’ Choice Award winner for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

The Award recognises businesses that consistently deliver great service with the Gardens being rated ‘Excellent’ by 342 visitors.

The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveller reviews from around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year has been, Aberglasney stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to visitors.

Aberglasney’s Director of Operations Jim Stribling said: “We are delighted to have once again won an award from Tripadvisor. It is fantastic recognition for the team’s hard work and dedication. To rank among the top ten percent of those listed on Trip Advisor as one of the best places to visit is outstanding.

“We are grateful to all those who take the time to leave us a review after visiting. It is no cliché when I say all the team, be it in the gift shop, the gardeners, the tearooms and the administrative team, all take the reviews on board to help make a visit to Aberglasney the best possible experience for everyone.”

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travellers, from planning, to booking, to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.

With more than 988 million reviews and opinions of nearly eight million businesses, travellers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodation, book experiences, reserve tables at restaurants and discover great places nearby.

As a travel guidance company available in 43 markets and 22 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy no matter the trip type.

“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognise the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests.

“Ranking among the Travellers’ Choice winners is always tough – but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”

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