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Promise to solve hospital parking problem

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Relieving pressure on hospital site: 40 more parking spaces are planned

Relieving pressure on hospital site: 40 more parking spaces are planned

SEVERAL changes will be made to parking services at Glangwili Hospital to make it easier and safer for patients to get into hospital.

Hywel Dda University Health Board, at the latest full health board meeting on Thursday, agreed to support a number of measures to relieve pressure on the Carmarthen hospital site, whilst a bigger solution is developed. This will include:

  • creating 40 additional staff parking spaces opposite the laundry department
  • creating more spaces as part of any capital project at the site (for example spaces are planned as part of the Phase Two Women and Children’s project)
  • further promotion of the park and ride scheme at Nantyci Showground for staff and appropriate patients and visitors to increase its use
  • restricting parking outside the Outpatient’s Department to patients and visitors only from 1 March 2016 (to allow for signage and staff awareness)
  • removing named parking spaces for consultants and instead creating a reduced number of reserved spaces to protect the ability of medical staff attending for clinics to be on time for their patients (please note Executive named spaces at the headquarters in St David’s Park, Carmarthen, were removed two months ago)
  • improve signage on the site
  • improve communication with patients and staff over transport issues, including providing information on appointment letters

Board members asked that in addition to the measurers highlighted above, a bigger impact solution was investigated by staff in liaison with interested parties, including members of the community who have made suggestions over a multistory car park.

They said it was unacceptable for the current situation to continue as it was a risk to safety as well as stressful for individual patients.

A report discussed in the meeting confirmed an audit and survey of people parking at the site had revealed at any one time up to 127 staff cars are parked in patient spaces, that 51 per cent of patients have experienced being late for appointments and 22 per cent had not attended appointments as a result.

Chairman Bernardine Rees OBE said: “This is a really significant problem for the Board and one which we have received complaints on and which is consistently discussed in our public engagement events. There are some significant costs to accommodate more spaces on the site but with a limited footprint and multiple pressures, we have to take any action we can to minimise parking problems. It makes no sense to be delivering excellent healthcare if we can’t help people get through the door on time. Missed appointments are costly to both the individual, as well as the health service at large.

“I therefore, support these measures but we need to do more work to outline a bigger impact solution for our patients. We need to consider a number of options, from multi-storey car park to reviewing the clinical strategy for Glangwili Hospital as whilst we have put new services in, we haven’t as yet taken anything out. I would also like our stakeholders and public, including those who instigated a petition calling on a multi-storey car park, to be involved in this work.”

Other measures being discussed include reviewing patient visiting times to provide more flexibility at peak times, negotiations with Carmarthenshire Council and Gwili Railway Management Committee regarding potential use of land near the hospital, and ongoing discussions with local bus companies to extend routes such as has been done to the route linking Withybush and Glangwili hospitals.

Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive Joe Teape said: “Parking is a serious problem on the site as it can restrict traffic flow both on the site and on the approach. There hasn’t been an incident of emergency ambulance not being able to get through but this is obviously our greatest concern and why we are taking all the measures we can to address this problem.

“In the meantime, after struggling to park on site myself, I would urge anyone who can, to use the park and ride scheme. It’s not the solution for all, but I will certainly be using this from now on.”

Parking issues and the detail around proposed solutions will be discussed by staff, patient representatives and the wider community as one of the health board’s ‘big conversations’, with feedback mechanisms to be announced shortly.

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Family of power station worker calls on former colleagues to help with asbestos claim

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THE WIFE of a Carmarthenshire man, who was just 66 when he died of an asbestos-related cancer, is calling on colleagues who worked with him in the 1970s to help understand where and how he contracted the disease.

Peter Colton, from Llanelli, died in July 2021 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

He worked as a conveyor and weighbridge operator for the CEGB at Carmarthen Bay Power Station. During his time at the power station, his duties included offloading coal wagons and conveying coal to the boilers.

It is possible that Mr Colton was exposed to asbestos during those years and now his family has sought the help of local asbestos specialists J.M Parsons, to investigate a claim for compensation.

Ann Colton, Mr Colton’s wife, wants answers. She said: “Peter was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died just six weeks later. He had been suffering from shortness of breath and just had no quality of life.

“It was devastating to see someone who had been so healthy and active slowly get worse and worse. We just want to know where and how he was exposed to asbestos and hope someone out there can help us.”

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, annual mesothelioma deaths in Britain increased steeply over the last 50 years, a consequence of mainly occupational asbestos exposures that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of asbestos during 1950-1980.

Amanda Jones is one of the specialists at J.M Parsons, which is owned by Thompsons Solicitors. Thompsons has paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972, 50 years ago.

She said: “We would be grateful to hear from anyone who remembers working with Peter Colton in Carmarthen Bay Power Station in the 1970s or anyone who worked in the same field as Peter beyond the 1970s.

“Such individuals will be invaluable to Mr Colton’s family as they may be able to add important information that will assist us in building a civil claim. We hope that we will then be able to answer questions about the conditions that Mr Colton worked in during his working life.”

Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones on 01554 779940, or via email at amanda@jmplaw.co.uk.

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Business

Carmarthenshire cheese maker secures Co-op listing

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Caws Cenarth award

A CHEESEMAKER from Carmarthenshire has secured its first listing with the Co-op as part of the retailer’s continued focus on local and community sourcing.

Family-owned Caws Cenarth, which has cheese making in the family dating back to 1903, will now see two of its cheeses listed in more than 20 Co-op stores across the region.

Made on farm in Glyneithinog, Caws Cenarth will supply Co-op with its Organic Caerffili – which has a light and lemony taste with hints of sea salt – and, one of its best known cheeses the Organic Perl Las Mini – which is described as a blue cheese, golden in colour, with a creamy, gently salty taste that grows stronger with maturity.

Carwyn Adams, whose parents rekindled the family tradition for cheese making in 1987 with the creation of Caws Cenarth, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. I shop in our local Co-op and regularly thought how nice it would be to see our cheese on the shelf and, now that is to become a reality. Working with Co-op will support our business development, and raise awareness of our cheeses, not only across the region, but also further afield as visitors to the area often look for local produce to take back home with them as gifts or to remind them of their stay in the area.”

Jo Wadsworth, Co-op’s Community Buying Manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome Caws Cenarth onto our shelves. We know that our Members and customers value the quality and provenance of locally produced food and drink and, here at the Co-op we are focussed on supporting local suppliers as part of our commitment to creating value and making a difference in our local communities.”

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Education

Carmarthenshire Council offers career opportunities through new Care Academi 

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Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Social Care

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has launched a new Care Academi which offers exciting opportunities to those looking for a career in social work or social care.

Open to all ages, the Academi will provide training, support and guidance to successful applicants, enabling them to earn while they learn and choose a career path that suits them best.

With a blend of on-the-job training and education, there are various opportunities to explore the variety of social care and social work roles on offer.

All applicants must have a minimum of two GCSEs (grade A* – D) or equivalent in English, Welsh or Maths.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Social Care said: “Our new Care Academi offers fantastic opportunities to those looking for a career in social work or care.

“Successful applicants could achieve a degree in social work or a level five management qualification, but there are also opportunities throughout the programme to find an alternative role that suits you best if completing a degree isn’t for you.

“If you are motivated, have a positive attitude and are looking for the first exciting step in a new career then we want to hear from you and welcome your application.”

For more information or to apply please visit www.Carmarthenshire.gov.wales/careacademi 

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