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Ambulances forced off road as thieves steal lights

Two ambulances were forced off the road during the busy Easter bank holiday – after thieves stole their blue lights.

It happened while they were parked overnight outside Caernarfon ambulance station in Gwynedd. Today the culprits were slammed for removing the blue side lights.

Credit: PA

The under-pressure Welsh Ambulance Service said at a time when the Trust was faced with growing demand, it was “hugely irresponsible” for someone to vandalise emergency vehicles so they were unable to respond to 999 calls. Anyone with information was urged to call North Wales Police.


'Unacceptable' issues at Swansea psychiatric hospital

A Swansea hospital caring for vulnerable patients has been found to have "unacceptable" standards, which affect the physical and mental health of patients, and the safety of staff.

Regulator Healthcare Inspectorate Wales says Cefn Coed Hospital faces "significant issues" relating to insufficient staff numbers, patient privacy, poor ward environments, and health and safety problems.

Cefn Coed Hospital has faced highly critical reports in the past.

The regulator undertook an unannounced visit to the hospital in November 2014.

It found a number of areas where "immediate improvement" is required, including privacy and dignity issues and insufficient staff and security on some wards, especially at night.

The issues we found were unacceptable, impacting on both the physical and mental health of the patients, as well as safety of the staff.

Following our inspection we issued a letter of immediate assurance to the health board. It has since submitted a comprehensive improvement plan addressing the issues.

We will continue to seek assurances from the health board that it has dealt with these serious issues in line with its proposed plans.

We will continue to assess the need for follow up inspections at Cefn Coed Hospital.

– Alun Jones, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales
Cefn Coed Hospital was criticised in 2013 following the death of dementia patient.

This is the latest in a series of damning reports about the hospital, which specialises in psychiatric treatment.

In 2013, a report from the Public Services Ombudsman found a "pattern of failures" at Cefn Coed after the death of a dementia sufferer four months after he was admitted to the hospital.

Read More: Ombudsman calls for improvements after dementia patient's death

In 2012, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales said the hospital was "no longer fit for purpose." Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, which runs the hospital, has previously said it has made significant improvements to standards.

Today, it has admitted that "outdated" wards at Cefn Coed are "clearly not fit for purpose" and it has "taken immediate steps to ensure that this does not happen in future."

Our vision is to provide all of our mental health services in modern facilities that meet the needs of patients, service users and staff.

As part of this modernisation programme we are investing in replacing old and outdated Edwardian wards at Cefn Coed Hospital with purpose-built buildings; both within the hospital grounds and at other sites.

The remaining wards at Cefn Coed Hospital are clearly not fit for purpose for 21st century mental health care, and we recognise that our staff are working hard to deliver the best possible care in difficult environments.

We have taken immediate steps to resolve the issues raised in the HIW report and we have put in place mechanisms to ensure that this does not happen in future.

– Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

Meningitis vaccine made available to all babies in Wales

All babies in Wales will be vaccinated against Meningitis B, the Welsh Government has announced.

The vaccine will now be added to the national childhood immunisation programme in Wales. Credit: PA

£7.7m will be put forward to fund the vaccination, which comes after a UK-wide deal was struck with vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

Last year the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation - the independent panel of experts which advises the UK countries on vaccination programmes - recommended every child over two months old should be given the vaccine.

But negotiations over the cost of the vaccine delayed the introduction of the programme.

"These negotiations mean we have now secured a meningitis B vaccine, which will benefit the health of all babies in Wales. Now a price has been agreed we will work to make this vaccination available as soon as practicable. We have made £7.7m of funding available to make sure this vaccine becomes part of our national childhood immunisation programme for Wales."

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

Babies will receive the first meningitis B vaccine at two months old, followed by two further doses.

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