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New state-of-the-art prostate biopsy machine for Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals

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A £50,000 state-of-the-art prostate biopsy machine has been purchased for use at Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals, thanks to charitable donations to local urology services, including a £30,000 donation from the West Wales Prostate Cancer Support Group.

The new diagnostic equipment will transform the way prostate cancer is diagnosed, according to Urology Consultant Mr Yeung Ng, and enable the Urology team to continue to develop the targeted biopsy service locally.

Consultant Mr Ng said: “The new equipment allows the capacity of prostate biopsies to be doubled, while also allowing the biopsies to be undertaken.

“The equipment will enable us to undertake transperineal biopsies which are safer procedures with a lower rate of infection as we do not have to undertake the biopsy rectally and diagnostic rates are also improved. 

“The Urology Department is extremely grateful for the charitable donations that we have received to make this purchase possible, as well as for the continued support that WWPCSG has provided us.

“The support of our local communities has helped us acquire new state-of-the-art prostate diagnostic equipment that equips us well for transitioning over to a transperineal prostate service while continuing to develop the targeted biopsy service.

“This support is helping to transform the way we diagnose prostate cancer, especially as patients have previously had to travel to a neighbouring health board to receive this advanced biopsy.”

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Pictured from left, with the new biopsy machine, are: Specialist Nurses Wolfgang Ackerman, David Ceri Thomas and Nicola Thomas; Consultant Mr Yeung Ng;  and Cancer Support Worker Janet Mackrell. (Image: Hywel Dda NHS)

Ken Jones, chairman of the West Wales Prostate Cancer Support Group, said: “Our group offers help to men and their partners living in west Wales.

“While we are not an organisation that sets out to raise funds, we are frequently given donations by people that we have helped. So, when we are able, we donate larger sums to areas where they are needed, such as health boards and cancer research charities that work within west Wales.

“We are delighted to be able to assist in the purchase of this equipment that will help in the work of Hywel Dda’s Urology Department.”

Lead Image: From left, at the cheque presentation are: Urology Service Manager Lianne Wood; Clinical Nurse Specialist Angharad Watkins; Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board Maria Battle; Consultant Mr Yeung Ng; David Goddard, Ken Jones and Iori Rees of WWPCSG; and Claire Rumble, Hywel Dda Health Charities Fundraising Officer. (Image: Hywel Dda NHS)

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Carmarthen

Major new TV drama latest to choose Carmarthenshire as its setting

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Carmarthenshire County Council has been working with location scouts and the production team to support the filming of a new thriller, which is using the county as its backdrop.

Y Golau/The Light In The Hall, produced by Triongl Cyf and Duchess Street Productions, is being filmed in Welsh and English and is set to air on S4C and Channel 4 in the UK, and Sundance Now in the US.

Cast and crew have been working in and around Llandovery, Carmarthen, Llangadog and Llandeilo over the past few weeks.

Actors including Joanna Scanlan, currently starring as Ma Larkin in the hit ITV family drama The Larkins, and Iwan Rheon of Game of Thrones, are amongst those featuring in the thriller.

The council has been working to ensure the local area benefits financially from the production with location fees, accommodation and associated spending on food and retail in the Llandovery, Carmarthen, and surrounding areas set to bring a substantial boost to the local economy.

Council officers have also ensured minimal disruption to communities for the duration of the filming, with traffic management and access to local businesses unaffected.

This is the latest major production to be located in Carmarthenshire, on the back of the hugely successful Keeping Faith drama based in Laugharne and Carmarthen, and Save The Cinema, a film due to be released on Sky in the New Year.

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Although Llandovery and Carmarthen will see the most activity, other locations across the county are also hosting film crews for a range of other productions at the moment.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Yet again Carmarthenshire has been chosen as the location for a major production, which proves that what we have got to offer is enough to attract the best companies in the world.

“Our officers have been supporting the crew to scout locations, contact local landowners and liaise with partners – all part of our efforts to support the growth of the local economy. When we are able to attract productions of this scale, we are able to bring new money into the area – a cast and crew of around 60 people are staying and spending locally, and that means money in the tills of local businesses and in the pockets of local people.”

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, added: “We are very fortunate to have such a range of locations suitable for filming in Carmarthenshire, from large beaches that stretch for miles, to rural and urban landscapes, rolling countryside and historic buildings. We have worked hard to grow our reputation as a location for filming and that is paying off with more enquiries being made to us all the time. It will be fantastic to see Carmarthenshire featured on the screen once again.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Council moves customer services into former Carmarthen Debenhams store

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Carmarthen’s council customer services Hwb is moving to St Catherine’s Walk to make use of space in the council’s 100% Sir Gâr pop-up shop.

Carmarthenshire County Council has secured temporary use of the former Debenhams unit in Carmarthen town centre to provide free retail space for local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

And to take advantage of the space, it is also moving its customer service team there so people can call in and get advice about council services and support, pick up recycling bags and more whilst doing their Christmas shopping.

The cash desk and other council services will remain at Spillman Street.

Several local businesses have already signed up to make use of the free retail space being offered as part of the council’s 100% Sir Gâr initiative, which will see a new lease of life being brought to the empty town centre unit.

Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said it made sense to bring the customer service centre into town to make it easier for people to access council services in the run-up to Christmas.

“We are pleased to be making good use of this empty unit in Carmarthen town centre’s prime retail core,” he said. “We’ve got lots of fantastic local businesses signed up to make use of the free retail space we’re offering as a 100% Sir Gâr pop-up shop.

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“We know this time of year is an exceptionally busy period for people, so it made sense to bring our customer services team into the heart of the town so people can get help and support from us without going further out of their way.

“Our customer services team are there to help with everything from accessing financial support to helping people find suitable housing, from applying for blue badges to supporting people with recycling, and much more.

“We hope people will call in to support local businesses as they do their Christmas shopping, and – if they need it – get the help and support of our customer services team at the same time.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthen

Chancellor’s Levelling Up Fund secured to create exciting Carmarthen Hwb

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A project offering a range of health, wellbeing, learning and cultural services under one roof is being planned for Carmarthen with funding secured from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Carmarthenshire County Council, working alongside Pembrokeshire County Council and other local public service providers, has secured £19.9million to create town centre hubs to benefit local people and businesses and create a more diverse and sustainable mix of uses for the town centre.

The council’s Cabinet will now meet to discuss and agree plans to use the Levelling Up Fund, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his autumn budget statement, and how the council can contribute further funding towards creating a Carmarthen Hwb in the town centre.

It is hoped it will be the first venture of its kind in Carmarthenshire, bringing a range of key public services under one roof and providing convenient access and a space for people to relax and enjoy.

Still in the early stages of development, the exciting venture could feature state of the art leisure, culture and exhibition space alongside health and educational facilities, tourist information, customer services and more.

The council is working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and University of Wales Trinity Saint David to agree and plan the delivery of the multi-use public facility.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We are delighted to have secured this significant funding from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to invest in Carmarthen town centre, and look forward to discussing as a Cabinet and with key partners about how best to deliver this exciting scheme.

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“We are keen to develop a unique project that will improve the quality of life for people and drive economic resilience and growth within Carmarthen and the surrounding area, aligning with our post-pandemic economic recovery plan to strengthen and support the vibrancy and sustainability of our town centres.

“The Carmarthen Hwb could play a vital role in supporting an active mix of uses in the town centre, supporting its commercial vitality and providing an anchor in the town’s main retail core.

“We would like to explore the possibility of bringing a range of services together in a community-focused environment to provide improved and better connected access to key public services, including preventative healthcare together with cultural, learning and leisure opportunities.

“Having secured this funding we can now drive forward our discussions with key partners to deliver an exciting scheme that will benefit the people and businesses of Carmarthen.”

The Carmarthen Hwb project would be delivered alongside a similar Hwb project at South Quay, in Pembroke town centre, which formed part of the bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

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Both projects aim to bring health and wellbeing into the centres of two neighbouring towns, creating an inclusive public service offer that meets changing local needs and which helps drive activity, footfall and environmental benefit.

Rachel Moxey, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration at Pembrokeshire County Council, added: “We are thrilled that our partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council has resulted in such a significant funding boost for our respective counties. We look forward to developing our plans to ensure we can deliver maximum benefit for people and businesses.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David said: “The University is delighted to be part of this exciting project.  It offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with a partners to revitalise our town centres by offering a mix of leisure, cultural and education opportunities to benefit residents and businesses.  The University looks forward to working with Carmarthenshire County Council on realising the vision for the Carmarthen Hwb.”

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “This is great news for Carmarthen and for the wider south west Wales region, and together with our local authority partners we are delighted to be involved in helping to shape this new facility for the benefit of local people.”

(Lead image: Geograph / Llewellyn2000)

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