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Hywel Dda NHS

Abuse of NHS staff totally unacceptable, say health board

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Hywel Dda University Health Board has strongly condemned the behaviour of those members of the public who abuse NHS staff.

The health board has revealed that in recent months there have been numerous cases of its staff receiving abuse while either working in the community, or on wards in hospitals.

There have also been cases of community health practitioners being confronted, challenged and abused for simply wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when going out to see patients, despite it being a requirement.

According to the most recent figures available, there were 61 incidents of violence and aggression towards staff recorded in September.

Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are seeing a large number of staff reporting incidents of them experiencing abuse from members of the public. Staff who are working very hard to deliver care and treatment are feeling increasingly upset due to verbal abuse, and sometimes threatening and intimidating behaviour by patients and relatives, particularly when being asked to leave a department whilst their relative is being assessed.

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“While the majority of the public treat NHS staff with respect, and appreciate the very difficult work they are doing in challenging circumstances, there are sadly a number of people who behave in a way which causes staff to feel at risk. The health board will not hesitate to report such incidents to the police.

“In relation to COVID, while I appreciate there is frustration and fear in communities, I would stress that if people they see a healthcare worker in the community wearing PPE, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are dealing with a COVID case. It is now standard practice for PPE to be worn to protect each other.”


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Haverfordwest

Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest closed to ALL visitors due to COVID numbers

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Hywel Dda University Health Board has announced that Withybush Hospital is closing to all visitors with immediate effect due to increased cases of COVID-19 in the hospital, and the nearby community.

The hospital has said that there will very few exceptions, such as end of life or critical visits – and all visitors will have to take a lateral flow test before arriving.

Visitors are also being told to wear a face mask to the hospital, which will be replaced with a surgical face mask at the hospital’s reception.

They are also being reminded about the need for social distancing and washing hands as often as possible with soap and water or hand sanitiser.

In an online statement, the health board said: “The situation is being monitored at regular intervals and a further update will be made when visitor restrictions are lifted.

“We thank everyone for your understanding at this time while we work to stop the spread of this virus.”

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Carmarthenshire

New Cancer Rapid Diagnosis Clinic open in Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital

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People who visit their GP with non-specific but concerning symptoms could be referred into a new clinic that aims to detect those who may have cancer.

A Rapid Diagnosis Clinic (RDC) will be launched on October 6th at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, where patients from across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion will be seen in this clinic.

The plan is to develop further RDCs at sites across the health board.

Patients attending the RDC will be seen by a Doctor and undergo further investigations of their symptoms. Patients will leave the clinic either with results and a likely diagnosis, a plan for further investigations or reassurance if the results are normal.

Dr Sion James, Deputy Medical Director for Primary Care and Community Services at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “The RDC provides an opportunity to promptly review and investigate those patients in whom it can be challenging to make a diagnosis. Additionally, it will reassure patients quickly if their results showed no evidence of cancer.”

GPs will arrange for the patients to have blood tests prior to their attendance at the clinic. Patients will be contacted via telephone by the RDC staff and supported in preparing for the clinic.

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Gina Beard, Lead Cancer Nurse at Hywel Dda UHB said: “The RDC is an exciting development that will be essential in improving cancer outcomes. Previously, when symptoms have been vague, patients may have experienced referral to several different services before receiving a diagnosis.

“The RDC will address this, delivering an efficient and person-centred diagnostic experience for patients who will be supported through this pathway by a Clinical Nurse Specialist.”

The RDC team aims to see patients within one week of referral from their GP.

The Chair of Hywel Dda UHB, Maria Battle said: “The past 18 months have been extremely challenging and have caused many problems in detecting early stage cancer in patients. It has caused a backlog in patients waiting to access care for cancer and in extreme circumstances has meant detecting late stage cancer in some.”

“In light of this, the Rapid Diagnosis Clinic will be a break-through in helping patients with non-specific symptoms get the attention and care that they need promptly and efficiently. As we move forward from the hardship that the pandemic has brought us all, it will greatly improve patient care and preservation of life in this patient group.”

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(Lead image: Hywel Dda UHB)

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Charity

Charity truck show raises thousands for local hospital and air ambulance

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Pembrokeshire couple Chris Williams and Suzanne Evans raised £2,000 for Withybush Hospital by staging a truck show at the county showground.

The Celtic Truck Show attracted more than 150 trucks for what was a great family day out over August bank holiday weekend.

Chris of Haverfordwest and Suzanne from Milford Haven said: “We are a team who have a passion for trucks and wanted to do something to support a good cause.

“We put on the show to support our local NHS, as all the staff do a brilliant job and have worked so hard, especially over the last two years.

“The event went really well. We were only expecting 80 to 100 trucks and between 150 and 180 turned up. We raised so much more money than we hoped and hope to hold another one over the May bank holiday in 2022.

“We are so grateful to everyone who attended and supported the show. To the public, our sponsors and the lorry drivers, we can’t thank you enough.”

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The event raised £4,000 in total – with £2,000 going to Withybush Hospital and £2,000 to Wales Air Ambulance.

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said they wanted to thank Chris and Suzanne for their fundraising.

“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,” said Nicola.

Lead image: Janice Cole-Williams, General Manager at Withybush Hospital, Staff Nurse Kelly Robinson, Carl Williams (dad of truck show organiser Chris Williams), Chris Williams and Health Care Support Worker Nicola Worth

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