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Hywel Dda NHS

Calls for mass vaccination centre in Pembrokeshire after county left out in rollout plans

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Preseli MP Stephen Crabb has continued his calls for a mass vaccination centre in Pembrokeshire, as the vaccine rollout plan shifts towards GP surgery delivery.

Following an update from the Hywel Dda Health Board, Mr Crabb reiterated his calls for a mass vaccination centre in Pembrokeshire to help deliver the number of vaccines needed to save lives and  help end the current lockdown restrictions.

Presently, the only two vaccination centres across the whole Health Board region are in Carmarthen and Cardigan, delivering the Pfizer vaccine.

Stephen Crabb said: “Over Christmas and into the New Year, the number one item in my inbox was people asking when they or their elderly parents will get the vaccine here in Pembrokeshire. There is concern and anxiety amongst local people about how and when the vaccine will be delivered.

“While we were told a mass vaccination centre would open in Haverfordwest once the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved, the vaccine has been approved and there is yet to be a centre in Haverfordwest. The message from the Health Board has been changing as the circumstances change and the focus now seems to be delivering the vaccine through GP surgeries.

“While this is a hugely welcome step, I am concerned that so far, very few over 80s have been vaccinated in our community.

“I’m conscious that a lot of hard work has gone into this rollout locally by Health Board staff, but I remain concerned that Pembrokeshire feels like it’s been put to the back of the queue.

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“If we’re to see the large numbers of people vaccinated needed to help bring lockdown to an end, then Pembrokeshire needs its own, dedicated mass vaccination centre.”


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Haverfordwest

Stained glass window dedicated at Withybush Hospital Chapel

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A new stained glass window has been dedicated during a special service at St Luke’s Chapel in Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.

The window was funded by Springboard Learning Pembrokeshire, with support from Communities First.

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The colourful piece of art was created by parents of St Mary’s School in Pembroke Dock on a course, under the direction of Springboard’s highly accomplished stained glass tutor, Pandora Hughes.

The window was originally created in 2015 and was designed to fit the windows of St Mary’s school hall in Pembroke Dock but lost its home after the school closed in 2018. The Chaplaincy Team at Withybush hospital were pleased to offer a new home to the window.

Laura Philips, Springboard Coordinator said: “It is hoped that others will get as much pleasure from its design and colours as everyone did creating them.

“The window tries to capture all that life has to offer and the importance of our culture and surroundings. It celebrates the sea and coast, the history of the Sunderland Bombers of Pembroke Dock and the town’s bold and strong architecture. The rainbow represents the hope and promise of love and life. The dove of peace is a symbol of tranquillity and the prayer of heavenly wisdom. And all around the edges you will find are images of health, wealth, nature, music, and literature. The rose stands for the importance of life to all the parents who worked on this window.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board’s chaplains Revd Geoffrey Eynon; Father Liam Bradley and Revd Martin Spain, officiated the dedication service.

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The Springboard team were in attendance and Laura Philips spoke about the historical context of the stained glass window.

Bethan Andrews, Withybush Hospital Service Delivery Manager, (Stroke and COTE), representing the health board, gave the vote of thanks to conclude the dedication, followed by the blessing and recessional hymn.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

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Carmarthenshire

Health board recruits 45 international nurses to fill staffing shortfall

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Hywel Dda University Health Board has recruited 45 international nurses and says it plans to increase this number significantly over the coming months.

Hywel Dda say they aim to recruit 100 international nurses this year through a centrally delivered programme with NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, local health boards and the Welsh Government.

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The first cohort of 11 nurses arrived in May. The nurses have taken their objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and are based in Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals

The second cohort of nurses arrived in June. The group of 19 nurses have also taken their OSCE and are based across Glangwili, Prince Philip and Bronglais hospitals.

The third cohort of nurses arrived in July and are currently undergoing OSCE training in preparation for their examination. The 15 nurses are spread across Glangwili, Prince Philip, Withybush and Bronglais hospitals.

Judith Avan from Nigeria, who works at Bronglais Hospital said: “Living in Wales has been lovely, people are so welcoming, and the weather has been so lovely. I look forward to developing in my career and specialise in respiratory therapy.”

Nabitha Kabeer from India, who works in Glangwili Hospital said: “I’m excited about working with NHS Wales. I look forward to enjoying the beauty of Wales and developing in my career. I want to specialise in Infection control or operating theatre nursing or forensic nursing.”

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Oyebola Opemipo Tikolo from Nigeria, who works in Glangwilli Hospital said: “It has been a nice experience on and off the ward, the people are friendly and helpful. I am looking forward to developing in my career by taking more courses, I also look forward to bringing my family over and settling down here. I intend to specialise in midwifery as I have experience in midwifery from my country.”

Hywel Dda say that international nurses have been part of the NHS since its inception in 1948 and continue to play a vital role.

Director of Workforce and OD Lisa Gostling said: “We continuously work together to be the best we can be as we strive to develop and deliver excellent services, putting people at the heart of everything we do. We want to attract a diverse workforce and are delighted to welcome the newly recruited nurses to the Hywel Dda family.”

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

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Carmarthenshire

Health boards warn of major computer system outage affecting 111 and out of hours GP services

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Hywel Dda and Swansea Bay University Health Boards have both issued a warning of a major computer outage that is that is used to refer patients from NHS 111 Wales to out-of-hours GP providers.

This system is used by Local Health Boards to coordinate services for patients. The health board say that the ongoing outage is significant and has been far reaching, impacting each of the four nations in the UK.

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Hywel Dda and Swansea Bay say that in response to the outage, health boards and their partners across Wales have developed and deployed plans so services can continue to operate.

They warn that the weekend will be a busier time than usual for NHS 111 Wales, and there are things that the public can do to help as work is done to resolve the issue.

Should the public continue to use 111?

Yes. As always, the public is encouraged to start with online help at 111.wales.nhs.uk where there is trusted health advice and information available, including more than 70 symptom checkers for many ailments and minor injuries.

What will be my experience if calling 111?

The weekend is a high demand period and processes have been put in place to continue to provide services. Capacity is being maximised by the Welsh Ambulance Service who answer 111 calls, and by Local Health Boards who provide the out-of-hours service. It may take longer for calls to be answered and we thank the public for their patience.

What can the public do to help?

Taking steps now to avoid needing to call 111 will #HelpUsHelpYou. If anyone has a medication concern, we encourage them to contact their GP today during working hours. If it is not an urgent concern, you can also speak to your local pharmacist about medications. You can find your GP and pharmacy opening hours at 111.wales.nhs.uk.

If you are calling 111 for health information, we ask people to think carefully about whether the enquiry is urgent. Remember that 111.wales.nhs.uk has lots of trusted health information and is a good source for many questions that you may have about common health concerns, chronic conditions, treatments, mental and physical health and much more.

The health boards say that people should consider the full range of options that are available to them in their local community which could include visiting your pharmacist for minor ailments and medicine matters.

They add that Ambulance and Emergency Departments remain very busy, and stress that it is still important to protect these services and they should continue to be used for life-threatening and serious emergencies only.

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(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

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