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Rare breed of sheep sees rise in numbers

Hill Radnor Sheep
Today we'll be meeting the competitors showing off the Hill Radnor Credit: ITV News

One of Britain's most endangered breeds of sheep may be seeing numbers rise, more than a decade after it was badly hit by the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001.

The Hill Radnor, as it's known, suffered heavy losses when the disease affected Radnorshire - this year's Royal Welsh Show host county.

Farmer Brian Rees says it's good news for the breed.

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Pembrokeshire cottage left to National Trust

small yellow cottage
The traditional Pembrokeshire cottage left by Mr Glyn Griffiths to the National Trust Credit: National Trust

One of the last unaltered examples of a classic Pembrokeshire cottage has been bequeathed to the National Trust.

It was left by the late Mr Glyn Griffiths with the wish that it is restored and it's character restored.

Close to the coast near St. David's, the Grade 2 listed cottage is a small 'two up two down' traditional lime-washed cottage, which dates back to the late 1700s.

The cottage and its outbuildings are in a very poor state of repair and will need substantial conservation work, which will be carried out thanks to the National Trust's Neptune Coastline Campaign.

It's hoped the cottage will be opened as a National Trust Holiday Cottage in the future, with regular open days each year for visitors to see the restoration work.

"We're delighted that Mr Griffiths has chosen the National Trust to safeguard his cottage and we know it holds a special place in the hearts of many people.

"The restoration work planned will preserve the layout as far as possible to provide simple accomodation, whilst retaining the spirit and charm of the traditional Pembrokeshire cottage."

– Jonathan Hughes, General Manager Pembrokeshire

Non-urgent ambulance calls: Woman dialled ‘999’ because she needed lift home

The Welsh Ambulance Service is encouraging people to choose the appropriate service for their healthcare needs after more than 31,000 non-urgent calls were received in the last year.

The calls included:

  • A man who dialled 999 because he had a fly in his ear (Milford Haven, June 2014)
  • A woman who had eaten cherries and felt constipated (Porth, August 2013)
  • A man who had discovered a bruise on his foot (Tywyn, November 2013)
  • A woman who asked whether the green part of a potato was poisonous (Bangor, November 2013)
  • A man with a ring stuck on his finger (Burry Port, June 2014)
  • A woman whose boiler had broken and had no credit to call the gas board (Swansea, October 2013)
  • A woman who dropped a television remote and needed someone to pick it up (Llandudno, December 2013)
  • A woman who didn't have enough money to buy a train ticket (Newport, March 2014)
  • A man with a cotton bud stuck in his ear (Bridgend, August 2013)
  • A mother whose daughter had drunk water from a dog bowl (Swansea, December 2013)
  • A woman who was intoxicated and needed a lift home (St Asaph, April 2014)
  • A woman who needed advice because she had fallen out with her brother (Hereford,November 2013)
  • A man with blisters on his foot(Penmaenmawr, January 2014)
  • A woman with a cast on her leg and wanted it taken off (Tredegar, January 2014)

Morriston Hospital 'ahead of the game' with new surgery procedures

New hi-tech orthopaedic surgery is being used at Morriston Hospital to help improve the care and treatment received by patients.

The new approach to surgery involves an MRI or CT scan of the patient's joint.

Today Health Minister Mark Drakeford will visit the hospital to speak to staff and patients.

"This is a good example of using technology to improve the care and treatment patients receive. By using the most advanced procedures available the time patients are in surgery is shortened, reducing the risk of infection and helping to improve overall waiting times.

"This collaborative approach between Morriston Hospital and Biomet is increasingly important to the modern Welsh NHS."

– Mark Drakeford, Health Minister for Wales

Surgeons from the hospital have described the new approach to surgery as 'something to shout about.'

"This is a feather in the cap for Morriston Hospital and for Wales and has been made possible by enthusiastic team involvement, particularly in theatre.

"We are really ahead of the game here and it is something for Wales to shout about."

– David Woodnutt, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

30,000 non-urgent calls to Welsh ambulance service in last year

Smartphone dialling 999
The ambulance service advises callers to use NHS direct for minor injuries. Credit: PA

The Welsh Ambulance Service is reminding people not to call 999 unless it is a genuine emergency.

The service says it took 31,219 non-urgent calls in the last 12 months alone.

Of those calls, only 670 required an ambulance, and just three needed a patient to be taken to hospital.

They included a woman who dialled 999 to ask if the green part of a potato was poisonous, and a caller whose daughter had drunk water from a dog's bowl.

The Welsh Ambulance Service says it's working hard to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, and support care close to patient's homes.

"We don't want to deter anyone from calling 999, but we want them to think twice before they do. Sadly, we still receive a significant number of inappropriate calls that do not require an ambulance response.

"When people misuse the service it means our precious time is being taken away from someone who really does need our help. During peak periods, like the summer, every non-essential call has the potential to delay a response to a serious emergency."

– Richard Lee, Head of Clinical Services

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Fresh attempt to settle rail electrification row

New Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb turns to one of the items at the top of his in-tray today -the row between the Welsh and UK governments over who pays for the electrification of the Valley lines. Ministers in Cardiff Bay say Mr Crabb's predecessors, Cheryl Gillan and David Jones, were quick to claim the credit for the giving the multi-million pound project the go ahead, so there's no way that the bill should be passed on.

Today Mr Crabb will hold talks with this cabinet colleague, the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin. The Transport Department argues that as the Welsh Government manages the Wales and Borders rail franchise, it should be responsible for repaying the cost. That would mean either funding a bigger subsidy or putting up the fares.

Only yesterday, the Prime Minister defended what he saw as a done deal but ITV news understands that there might at least be a concession over how quickly the money needs to be repaid. A senior Welsh Government source was also optimistic that the dispute could soon be settled.

Plans for Wrexham power station to be discussed

Sign for Wrexham Industrial Estate
If plans go ahead the new power station will be located at the Wrexham Industrial Estate Credit: ITV News

Public meetings are being held this week on plans to build a new gas power station on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

The firm behind the plans, Wrexham Power Ltd, says the £300 million scheme would create 30 permanent jobs, and hundreds more whilst it's being built.

But local opposition group WRAPS (Wrexham Residents Against the Power Scheme) say the power station would spoil the rural landscape.

Today sees the final meeting take place at Redwither Business Park.

Hi-tech surgery leads the way at Morriston Hospital

Shot of nurse looking at x ray
The new approach to surgery hopes to cut waiting times and reduce infection for patients Credit: PA

Patients at Morriston Hospital are benefitting from new high-tech orthopaedic surgery, which it's hoped will reduce the risk of infection and help cut waiting times.

The standard procedure for knee replacement surgery is for all implant sizes and equipment to be provided to the operating theatre. These are then used on a trial and error basis until the correct size for the patient can be identified.

But surgeons at Morriston Hospital are now using a new technique - an MRI or CT scan is taken of the patient's joint, which is then used to customise the size and position of the implant.

This means the time in theatre can be reduced by up to a half, which in turn cuts waiting times and equipment costs.

Today Health Minister Mark Drakeford will visit patients and staff at the hospital, and see where hip and knee replacement surgery takes place.

The hospital is working closely with Biomet - a global orthopaedics company which has it's UK headquarters in Bridgend, to use the latest techniques to improve treatments.

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