blank
Connect with us

Health

Explosion in waiting times is a Christmas present no one wants for the Welsh NHS

Published

on

Concerning figures released this week show that the number of people waiting more than a year for treatment in Wales has reached more than 76,000 patients, compared with just over 55,000 the month before. Staggering, 1,680 people in Wales have had to wait over two years for treatment.

The figures have also revealed that only 59.5% of ambulance calls responding to life threatening emergencies arrived within the 8-minute target. This is the fourth consecutive month that the Welsh Government’s 65% target has not been reached and is down by nearly 2% on the previous month.

Commenting on the number, and the impact on patients, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Andrew RT Davies MS, said: “This isn’t a good Christmas present for our Welsh NHS or for the people of Wales.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on some issues within our health service, and then has gone on to make them worse. The Welsh Government needs a plan on how they are going to bring waiting times down rapidly, when hopefully the Covid vaccine offers some respite to the immense challenges our NHS staff are facing.

“We must urgently ensure that those nearly 2,000 people are treated as soon as possible to end their potential suffering, having waited what can be two long years in pain.

“I am pleased that the Welsh Government has taken action and has called in the Army to support the Welsh Ambulance Service. However, these are only sticking plasters and we need to make sure that the Welsh NHS doesn’t become a COVID-only service but gets back to routine services as soon as it can.”


Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Coronavirus

Health chief urges people to follow Welsh Gov COVID guidance – and supports action against businesses that don’t

Published

on

By

woman wearing face mask

Director of Public Health for Swansea Bay University Health Board, Dr Keith Reid has issued a statement urging people to follow the Welsh Government’s guidance on staying safe through the pandemic – and supports action against businesses that refuse to do so.

The warning comes as news of the new Omicron COVID variant starting to spread in the UK, coronavirus infection rates continuing to be high in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot, and enforcement action taken by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government against independent cinema Cinema& Co who have refused to follow COVID safety measures.

Dr Keith Reid

Dr Reid said: “We are now seeing the emergence of the new Omicron variant with the accompanying uncertainty.  This makes it more important than ever for us all to act in a responsible way that protects our local communities and the vulnerable people within them, and the NHS.

“Although we all want the pandemic to end, Covid is undeniably still with us. Many families across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot have already experienced – or are currently living through – the anguish of loved ones being seriously ill or having died with this virus.  Others, of all ages, are suffering long-lasting impact on their own health following Covid infection.

“In the last two weeks alone in Swansea Bay 10 people have died in our hospitals with Covid. Today, we have 35 Covid-positive patients in our hospital beds and five are seriously ill in intensive care.

“Since the pandemic began, our staff have witnessed almost 1,000 patient deaths with Covid, and that figure does not include people who died outside of our hospitals. That is not only a tragedy for the families involved, but it has exacted a heavy physical and mental toll on our NHS staff, who are exhausted and yet still carrying on as best they can.”

Dr Reid added: “For businesses the rules are quite clear and there is a statutory duty of care towards customers and clients who might use business premises and also for staff.

“I support enforcement action taken against any business that deliberately flouts the current regulations.

Advertisement

“These regulations are not made lightly. They are put in place to protect the public and workers. They also allow business to continue to operate, but as safely as possible.

“The regulations are based on Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) advice that a number of different ‘low cost’ interventions all have a part to play in reducing risk, and that together these actions mitigate against the risk of tougher measures needing to be reintroduced later.

“Included in the regulations is the need, for example, for premises to be properly risk-assessed so important safety issues like ventilation, social distancing, etc, can be considered and managed. Covid passes or negative lateral flow tests have another part to play in reducing the risk of further infections, particularly in premises regarded as higher risk. The passes are not the full answer, but they have a part to play.

Support and guidance on how businesses can implement reasonable control measures is available from the local authority, and is outlined in detail by the Welsh Government.

Meanwhile, I continue to urge everyone to carry on taking sensible everyday actions to protect their own health, and those of others:

Advertisement
  • Make sure you have had your Covid vaccinations.
  • Self-isolate and get tested if you have any Covid symptoms, or symptoms which are unusual for you.
  • Wear a face-covering where you need to.
  • Open windows and doors to let the fresh air in when you meet up with others.
  • Avoid stuffy, crowded places – get together outdoors if you can.
  • Wash your hands frequently.”
Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Council urges city cinema to address COVID safety concerns

Published

on

By

Swansea Council has condemned the actions of the owners of a city cinema which has refused to remain shut to address serious covid health concerns.

Cinema & Co was recently issued with a closure notice after enforcement officers in the Council, during a visit, noted that no measures had been put in place by the owners to reduce the risks of spreading coronavirus to either staff or customers.

The Welsh Government has since issued a direction to the owners, ordering them to close and action was taken by council officers, supported by local police, to close the premises on Friday evening (26 November).

A council spokesperson said: “It’s disappointing to see the owners still acting in an irresponsible way and continue to trade, against the direction issued by the Welsh Government.

“Our recent visits determined there were no measures in place to protect the public and staff against coronavirus. We understand events are still planned at the venue and we would urge those who intend going along to act wisely and consider the risks they present in potentially spreading the virus to friends and family.

“We have supported businesses throughout the pandemic to ensure they are doing all they can to lower the risk of spreading the virus and adhere to current welsh government regulations. The majority have been very supportive and are doing their bit to trade safely and not risk putting additional pressures on our NHS.

“Given we have seen the emergence of the worrying omicron variant, we all need to continue to act with caution and follow the rules and regulations.  The measures are in place to keep us all safe, and help us avoid a return to a lockdown.”

Advertisement

Cinema & Co remains open, with a sold-out showing of “The Grinch who Stole Christmas” taking place on Sunday (28 November). Further film showings are due to take place on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday this week.

A rescheduled court date is due to take place at Swansea Magistrates tomorrow (30 November), after the district judge hearing the case asked for more information about the legislation being used by the council to bring forward their closure order.

(Lead image: Cinema & Co)

Continue Reading

Welsh Ambulance Trust

Ambulance service introduces new technology to better support victims of domestic violence

Published

on

By

The Welsh Ambulance Service has introduced new technology to better support victims of domestic violence.

Ambulance crews have been supporting patients to access Live Fear Free for help and advice on domestic violence since its creation using a bespoke telephone number.

Now crews now have the ability to assist patients via an app on their Trust-issue iPad to speed up and streamline the process.

Live Fear Free is a 24/7 helpline for women, children and men experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence or other forms of violence against women.

It is a main point of contact in Wales to access support, information, safety-planning, advocacy, refuge and counselling services. 

Nikki Harvey, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Head of Safeguarding, said: “The Live Fear Free helpline is a free, confidential 24/7 specialist resource that anyone can access, at any time.

“Welsh Ambulance Service crews have been using it for some years to signpost patients to help and support, using the good old fashioned telephone – until now.

Advertisement

“Having the technology to refer patients digitally using iPads is not only more efficient for crews, but it means that vulnerable patients get the support they need more quickly.

“We all deserve to live without fear and in an environment which is safe, and modernising this referral pathway brings us a step closer to that.”

Live Fear Free helpline manager, Ann Williams, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Welsh Ambulance Service, making our joint support of those most in need across Wales even more efficient.

“For staff at the helpline and the ambulance service alike, time is critical.

“Using updated technology means that we can strengthen vital, time-saving communication methods, which will directly benefit the women, men and children getting in touch, for whom support can often be life changing or even life-saving.”

Advertisement

You can contact Live Fear Free by calling 0808 80 10 800, texting 07860 077333, emailing info@livefearfreehelpline.wales or by using its 24/7 live chat service.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News