A new state-of-the-art MRI scanner has been installed at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest thanks to a 3.3million pound investment from Welsh Government.
Replacing the hospital’s previous scanner installed in 2007, it will be used for both in-patients and out-patients in quicker scan times, increasing patient footfall.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. It can scan a range of body parts including brain and spinal cord; bones and joints; breasts; heart and blood vessels; internal organs, such as the liver, womb or prostate gland
Lead Superintendent Radiographer at Hywel Dda UHB, Gill Lingwood said: “Patients will benefit from a much better experience, as the magnet is less enclosed, the room has been made a calmer environment for them.
“The capabilities of this new scanner far exceeds our previous equipment with a dramatic improvement in image quality. It has additional advanced software packages which will assist the radiologists to extrapolate more information to aid accurate diagnosis and assist with complex imaging cases.”
The scanner has a noise reduction feature from the magnet as well as an in-magnet entertainment system where patients can watch YouTube whilst receiving their scan.
The scanner will be located in the main hospital, next to the outpatient department.
Consultant Surgeon and Hospital Director of Withybush Hospital, Andrew Burns said: “The scanner that is now in place is an important investment to help us provide faster scans to more patients, in a calmer environment meaning patients will benefit from a better overall experience when receiving their scans. I would like to thank everyone involved in the procurement and installation of this new equipment.”
Western Quayside demolition underway
Demolition work is underway at Western Quayside in Haverfordwest (the former Ocky White building) as part of a major construction project to redevelop the site.
Commenced earlier this year, the project will provide a modern and stylish three-storey development, including a food emporium, bar and roof-top terrace.
The Pembrokeshire County Council scheme incorporates public realm improvements including an attractive waterfront square with space for events which could extend its use into the early evening.
The demolition is due to be finished by mid-December, when works will move on to the installation of the substructure foundations and then onto the steel work installation in the New Year. The project is anticipated to be complete in early 2023.
The scheme is funded by the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme and the Building for the Future programme through the European Regional Development Fund. The contractors are John Weavers Ltd.
Rachel Moxey, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration, said the development, combined with its potential for leisure and community use, aimed to encourage greater vitality and resilience within the town centre over time.
“The project is evidence of the Authority’s commitment to support the regeneration of Pembrokeshire’s county town,” she said. “Not only will it help drive footfall to Haverfordwest, it will also support business growth and create an additional community hub.”
Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “Our Transforming Towns programme is providing £136 million to further support the economic and social recovery of town and city centres across Wales, building on existing investment of £800 million in over 50 of our towns since 2014.
“Transforming Towns is focussed on improving biodiversity and green infrastructure, repurposing neglected properties, increasing flexible working and living space, and providing access to services.
“Our town centre first policy means that town centres should be the first consideration for all decisions on the location of workplaces and services. Our town and city centres face many challenges which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“That’s why we are investing heavily to ensure that our towns not only survive but thrive, and we are brave in reinvigorating them into places where people want to spend their time.”
Local County Councillor Tom Tudor welcomed the progress on site: “Combined with other initiatives taking place, I am very optimistic that Haverfordwest Town Centre will become a thriving commercial and residential location of choice, creating a distinct destination and sense of place,” he said.
(Lead Image: Pembrokeshire Council)
New community cafe to provide ‘opportunity’ for people of Haverfordwest
A new community space has opened at the former Wimpy in Haverfordwest’s Riverside Shopping Centre
@No5 Riverside offers a community café, ‘Library of Things’ and employment support – all in one town centre location.
It follows a 6-month renovation project by Norman Industries as part of its supported employment programme, with funding from Welsh Government.
“The café will be a fantastic resource offering dedicated sessions to a wide range of community groups, including people with dementia or a learning disability, carers, and gentlemen’s groups,” said Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services.
Known as ‘Caffi Cyfle’ (cyfle is the Welsh word for ‘opportunity’) the café is open 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. It is fully inclusive – please ask how to book a quiet time or about suitable food options.
Karen Davies, Programme Manager, said the café menu has been designed by Pembrokeshire’s neuro diverse community.
“The simple hot menu is designed to provide meals suitable for people of all ages removing the food that is often left on the side of the plate,” she said. “The small plate option recognises that people with small appetites want to be able to buy an appropriately sized meal saving money and food waste.”
The café will also offer training and employment to people with barriers to employment including people with neurodiversity conditions.
“We know that the hospitality sector has challenges recruiting staff and yet there is a large pool of people who could work in this industry given the right training and support,” said Karen.
“People with impairment and difference make excellent employees with low levels of absence and high levels of commitment. We already run a café in Milford Haven run by people with learning disability. We want to show the sector how this can be achieved in a busy town centre café environment.”
The Library of Things offers people the opportunity to borrow items that they can’t afford or don’t want to buy.
People can borrow a wide range of things such as a gazebo, lawnmower, pressure washer, wheelbarrow, children’s games or fancy dress.
Cllr Cris Tomos, Pembrokeshire Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We all have items that we have bought for one job, which have then sat in our cupboards gather dust never to be used again.
“Now we have the opportunity to reduce the use of precious resources by borrowing the item rather than buying it for a fraction of the cost.
“The Library of Things is a fantastic opportunity for people in Pembrokeshire to contribute towards actions for the environment.”
The unit at No.5 Riverside stood empty for a number of years and took a significant investment to bring it back to life. Financial support was provided by a Circular Economy grant to support town centre regeneration from the Welsh Government.
Riverside Shopping Centre Manager Nigel Stroper said he was delighted to welcome @No5 to the Riverside Shopping Centre.
“I have been so impressed with the efforts of all concerned with this enterprise which brings real points of difference to both the shopping centre and town centre, the staff are so enthusiastic – they are a credit to the work done by Norman Industries,” he said.
“I am confident this is a great step forward in the regeneration work beginning in our lovely little town.”
Local County Councillor Tom Tudor said it was a great initiative. “This is an excellent facility and very much welcomed for the centre of town,” he said. ”We wish it every success.”
Also based @No5 are the staff from Employability Pembrokeshire. During the day, the upstairs space will be used as a drop in space so that people can meet with the mentors from a wide range of employment projects that support progress into work.
The team at Employability Pembrokeshire can help with training, work experience and getting paid work. For people with a disability they can also help to assess and put in place support to ensure people have success in the work place.
To borrow an item from the Library of Things you can visit www.pembrokeshirecircle.org and follow the share link. Items can also be booked at the counter in @No5.
Things that still work or could be repaired can be donated to the library so that others can use them. Items are repaired, tested and made available to others reducing waste going to landfill. Items can be dropped off @No5 or at Norman Industries.
Lead image: (left to right): Jonathan Griffiths (Director of Social Services); Cllr Cris Tomos; Matthew Page, Café Assistant; Cllr Tessa Hodgson; Karen Davies and Marty Andrews, Café Manager. (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)
Health board honours veterans with vaccine-vial wreaths
Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) celebrated veterans with unique wreaths on Remembrance Day created by the VC Gallery in Haverfordwest.
The wreaths were made using the tops of COVID vaccine vials.
The health board explained that support officer Douglas Mottram came up with the idea to recycle and repurpose the tops of vaccine vials to create a poppy after spending time working in vaccination centres.
The VC Gallery, who support veterans and members of the armed forces community particularly through the promotion of arts and crafts created five wreaths, made from the tops of vaccine vials recycled from vaccination centres.
Anna Bird, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “The armed forces have played a huge role in supporting the Covid-19 response in Hywel Dda, working in our vaccination centres earlier in the year as part of their national deployment.
“The creation of these wreaths seemed a fitting way to acknowledge their contribution and to honour and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “It is wonderful how Anna, Doug and the rest of the Strategic Partnership teams have brought together this innovative idea with the help of the VC Gallery.
“These wreaths give us just a small glimpse of how many lives the Covid-19 vaccine has saved.
“They symbolise the heroic response, self-sacrifice and absolute commitment of our staff and our veterans in the war against the pandemic, and remembering those who have lost their lives, their loved ones and our staff who died and who cared for the sick and dying.”
(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)
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