November 2013

28 November 2013

Welsh Labour block bid to protect services at Withybush

A bid to protect services at Withybush hospital was lost by one vote as every member of Welsh Labour present at the debate voted against a motion to secure the future of the hospital's core services. A debate tabled by the Welsh Conservatives called for the retention of services at Withybush and looked to the Welsh Government for support and political leadership on the issue.

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Mr Davies said, "I am appalled that the Welsh Labour Government has refused to stand up for the people of Pembrokeshire and protect our core services at Withybush hospital. This is a hugely worrying time for the constituents and the communities that I represent and I will be doing all that I can to stand up to the health board and the Government on this matter. The Health Minister tells us that change is coming to Withybush hospital. However, we in Pembrokeshire will not tolerate any reduction in services at our hospital. Downgrading core services at Withybush would be a catastrophic mistake."


26 November 2013

Withybush: Core services must remain as they are

Changes to maternity services at Withybush would be a 'catastrophic mistake' that could have a hugely damaging impact on families across Pembrokeshire.

In a Welsh Conservative debate on Wednesday (November 27th), Assembly Members will argue that the Labour government must take action to secure the future of core services at the hospital and work with Hywel Dda Health board to ensure its plans are effectively communicated.

The debate – currently scheduled to begin in the Welsh Parliament shortly after 3pm – follows recent reports surrounding the end of consultant and doctor-led care at Withybush hospital's maternity unit.

Speaking to BBC Wales, a consultant obstetrician confirmed that staff had been told of a decision to centralise consultant and doctor-led maternity services at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen. This would mean a much longer journey for many patients with complicated pregnancies.

The Welsh Government's 'Strategic Vision for Maternity Services' - published in September 2011 – states: 'Ensuring every woman in Wales... has access to and receives safe high quality care, as close to home as possible, is paramount'.

The hospital's emergency department also faces downgrading.

Hywel Dda Health Board has said no decision has been made and confusion and worry persists for communities across Pembrokeshire.


Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:

"Downgrading core services at Withybush would be a catastrophic mistake.

"It is completely unfair to force a mum-to-be – already dealing with a complicated pregnancy – to travel much further for treatment.

"This flies in the face of Labour's own vision for maternity services and the health board's plans must be urgently clarified by the minister.

"Labour's legacy of record-breaking NHS budget cuts is having a devastating impact on frontline services.

"Patients should not be forced to travel further for treatment and services must not be downgraded."


Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Paul Davies, said:

"Confusion and worry currently overshadows communities across Pembrokeshire and I urge Carwyn Jones to intervene.

"Centralising services in Carmarthen will add tens of miles to patient journeys and communities here will be hit disproportionately.

"It's about time Mr Jones and Welsh Labour got a grip on the NHS they lead and I will continue to oppose any plans to cut the accident and emergency department and maternity services at Withybush Hospital."


Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Assembly Member, Angela Burns, said:

"If staff have been told of these disastrous changes – the Labour minister must move to clarify them immediately. We need a clear and unambiguous statement of intent from the Minister and the Health Board.

"We are in danger of death by a 1,000 cuts being inflicted upon the hospital and thereby on the people of West Wales.

"We all deserve access to a first class NHS without having to undergo the tortuous journeys so many of my constituents are beginning to have to do for basic treatments like a cancer check-up or scan."


20 November 2013

Call for health chiefs to appear before AMs

Welsh Conservatives have called for health bosses in mid and west Wales to appear before Assembly Members and answer questions over their plans for the winter.

Under initial proposals, Hywel Dda health board intended to postpone some non-urgent surgery until the spring. Following intense criticism, an apparent turnaround will now see surgery maintained at hospitals in Withybush, Llanelli and Aberystwyth - but with reduced capacity.

This week, it was also reported that staff at Withybush Hospital had been told that consultant and doctor-led care at the maternity unit will end next March.


19 November 2013

Paul Davies Speaks Out Over Cuts Concerns at Withybush hospital

Local AM Paul Davies is pictured outside Withybush hospital.A request from local Assembly Member Paul Davies to publically scrutinise the future of services at Withybush hospital has been denied, following the latest news that overnight paediatric services at the Withybush hospital could be closed.

Mr Davies tabled an urgent question to the Welsh Health Minister given the substantial knock-on effect that this closure would have on the hospital's obstetrics department, A & E department and the Special Care Baby Unit.

Mr Davies said, "This latest news has further escalated concerns in Pembrokeshire that Withybush hospital is signalled for downgrading. Sadly, my request to scrutinise the Health Minister on this has been turned down. Unfortunately, I have repeatedly called for statements from the Welsh Government in relation to Hywel Dda health board's plans, all of which have been denied."


18 November 2013

Welsh Government’s toolbox stocked

Commenting on the UK Government's announcement on the detail of its response to the first set of recommendations of the Silk Commission, Paul Davies AM, Shadow Minister for Finance, said:

"We welcome the UK Government's announcements on the support for the implementation of almost all the Silk Commission's 31 recommendations.

"Under these plans, the Welsh Government will be made fully accountable for its spending decisions for the first time and forced to deliver value for money for taxpayers.


13 November 2013

Welsh Government must plan how to use new powers

Welsh Conservatives today called on the Welsh Labour Government to start planning now how it might use future powers, announced by the UK Government, to benefit the Welsh economy.

Earlier this month the Prime Minister announced that the UK Government will support the devolution of borrowing and taxation powers, including income tax, subject to a referendum.


08 November 2013

Orthopaedics Back on the Assembly Agenda

Local Assembly Member Paul Davies has once again raised the issue of elective orthopaedic surgery, following Hywel Dda health board's decision to cancel some orthopaedic operations over the winter period.

Mr Davies said, "I again highlighted the issue of elective orthopaedic surgery in the Assembly Chamber, particularly in the wake of Hywel Dda's worrying decision to cancel some orthopaedic operations. I have again called for a statement from the Welsh Health Minister, so that Assembly Members can have the opportunity to scrutinise the health board's decision and I hope that the Welsh Labour Government will seriously consider my request. Given the seriousness of this issue for the people of Pembrokeshire, it's crucial that the Welsh Government takes the matter seriously."


07 November 2013

Paul Davies Supports Tidy Wales Awards

Keep Wales Tidy and Local AM Paul Davies are once again calling on volunteer groups, schools and organisations across Wales to put their names forward for the Tidy Wales Awards. Could this be the year you are a category winner and get your hands on a £250 cash prize?

The Tidy Wales Awards recognises groups throughout Wales who work tirelessly to improve their local environment. These unsung green heroes have inspirational stories to tell of how their volunteering has improved not only their local environment through reducing litter and protecting wildlife habitats but have also created links in communities, bringing people together and in some instances reducing the impact of poverty.


Orthodontic Action to be taken by Hywel Dda Health Board

Hywel Dda local health board is establishing an Orthodontic Assessment Service to target waiting times in west Wales, according to a letter received by Paul Davies from the Welsh Health Minister. This action is a direct result from Mr Davies raising this issue once again in the Assembly Chamber.

Paul Davies said, "I'm pleased that Hywel Dda health board is finally establishing a service to target waiting times for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic care in Pembrokeshire has been in crisis for some time and this news is a step in the right direction. I have continually raised this issue at the Assembly with Ministers since my election in 2007 and it's good to see that something is finally being done. The current wait for primary care orthodontic assessment is three years and that is simply unacceptable. Constituents have been making representations to me for a number of years now and I'm sure that this news will be welcomed. I look forward to hearing more about the new Orthodontic Assessment Service and I will be monitoring this issue to ensure that it tackles the current waiting time for treatment."


Fishguard Autumn Festival Success Raised at the Assembly

Paul Davies AM with members of Fishguard and District Round Table as well as exhibitors at the Taste of Autumn, Growing Spaces Exhibition at St Mary’s Church, FishguardThe success of the Fishguard Autumn festival was raised in the National Assembly Chamber recently, thanks to local Assembly Member Paul Davies. Mr Davies questioned the Business Minister on how the Welsh Government markets local festivals to ensure their economic impact is maximised. This question follows Mr Davies' visit to Fishguard Autumn festival, held between October 30th – November 3rd.

Mr Davies said, "I was pleased to raise the important issue of supporting local festivals. Festivals like the Fishguard Autumn festival are hugely beneficial to the local economy, as well as an excuse to showcase some of the wonderful produce that Pembrokeshire has to offer. It's therefore essential that the Welsh Government gives these festivals the support that they deserve, so that they can continue to flourish in the future."


Paul Davies Supports Carbon Monoxide Week!

Local Assembly Member Paul Davies is supporting the 8th National Carbon Monoxide Awareness week starting on Monday 18th November 2013. CO Awareness was set up seven years ago to provide support to those poisoned by carbon monoxide and raise awareness about the dangers.

Mr Davies said, "I'm pleased to support this important campaign. I would like to urge the people of Pembrokeshire to consider checking and making sure that their appliances have been properly serviced and that they have a working carbon monoxide smoke alarm on their premises. People can buy an alarm from around £15 at DIY stores, supermarkets, or even from energy suppliers. It's a small price to pay to avoid such tragic circumstances."


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