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Protest due over Welsh language prescription row

Bangor residents will stage a protest over prescription in Welsh refused Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Bangor residents will stage a protest against Morrisons supermarket today, after the company refused to give a family's son a prescription because it was written in Welsh.

Among the speakers at the protest will be the local MP for Arfon Hywel Williams.

Robin Farrar, Chair of language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, said:

"Everyone should have the right to live in Welsh - from the doctors who want to work in Welsh, to the patients who want to receive treatment in the language.

"What Morrisons has done is totally at odds with the official status the Welsh language has and has caused anguish to the family.

"We have written to the company demanding they apologise straight away and confirm they will not allow this type of incident to happen again.

"We have also contacted the Welsh Language Commissioner asking her to consider the possibility of legal steps against the company.

"This event is a reminder that the new language standards - rules which will place duties on bodies to supply services in Welsh - must prevent awful problems like this.

"The standards dealing with the health service need to give people rights to use Welsh. But also, language laws need to cover more of the private sector, like supermarkets, so they respect and promote the language generally."

A spokesperson for Morrisons said the company and the pharmacy team are "looking into it" and are "working with the store and area pharmacy team to find out what has happened."

Bryn Terfel visits Bangor's Theatr Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel's won just about every honour a world famous singer could - but today he was introduced to something pretty special.

He put on his hard hat and high visibility vest and walked onto what's now a building site in Bangor but will soon become Theatr Bryn Terfel - part of the Pontio Arts Centre taking shape in the city.

Rob Shelley was there to catch one of the baritone's most unique performances...


Bryn Terfel sings with children at theatre named after him

Bryn Terfel was born and lives in Gwynedd

Opera singer Bryn Terfel visited the site of the new Theatr Bryn Terfel in Bangor today.

The theatre forms part of Pontio, an arts centre at Bangor University. It is due to open later this year.

He was joined by children from nearby schools to sing a song specially composed for him.

Terfel and the children sang 'Anfonaf Angel' together

Opera singer Bryn Terfel to visit theatre named after him

This will be Bryn's first visit to the theatre site Credit: PA

Internationally renowned opera singer Bryn Terfel will pay his first visit to the site of the new Theatr Bryn Terfel in Bangor later today.

The theatre will be based in Pontio, Bangor University's new Arts and Innovation Centre and twill host Welsh and English drama as well as opera, circus and comedy.

It's expected to open in Autumn this year.

The singer, from Gwynedd, will also be performing a song written for him with local schoolchildren.

Refusal of toddler's Welsh prescription "inexcusable"

There's been widespread criticism after a family's claim that a supermarket pharmacy refused to supply their son's prescription because part of it was written in Welsh. Now their MP is among those calling the incident "inexcusable".

In response, The National Pharmacy Association says a pharmacist would want wish to make sure of all the instructions on the prescription before handing them out so patients are not put at risk.

James Crichton-Smith reports.

Pharmacy row: "Welsh speaking patients sidelined"

The Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws says Welsh speakers are disregarded. Credit: ITV News

The Welsh Language Commissioner has called on health professionals to work together in order to meet the language needs of patients.

The call follows a case where a pharmacy in Bangor declined to give medication to a patient because the prescription was partly written in Welsh.

The Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, said, "We often hear the patient is at the centre of the health service in Wales, but this case highlights that the needs of Welsh speaking patients remain on the sidelines and are disregarded.

"It is the health service’s responsibility to find solutions to any obstacles, not to create barriers for patients," she added.


Prescription in Welsh refused by supermarket

Alys & Aled Man say Morrisons would not dispense the prescription for their son. Credit: ITV News/Ian Lang

A north Wales couple say they would like an apology from a supermarket giant after they were told a prescription for urgently needed medicine for their 15 month-old son wasn't acceptable because the prescription wasn't in English.

Alys and Aled Man needed steroid drugs for their son Harley who was suffering respiratory problems. The prescription from their doctor was in English and Welsh but when they tried to get it from Morrisons supermarket in Bangor they were told it needed to be in English.

"The Morrisons pharmacist told me that he couldn't do it because it was in Welsh and he didn't understand it", said Alys. "I don't understand this as I am Welsh, live in Wales and there should not have been a problem", said Alex.

The delay meant Harley had to wait two hours to get the medicine he needed. He spent last night in Ysbyty Gwyndd but is now out of hospital.

A Morrisons spokesperson told ITV Cymru Wales, “There are strict guidelines in place regarding the dispensing of medicines from pharmacies. They state that prescriptions should be written in English or bilingually.

"To make absolutely sure the correct dosage was dispensed, our pharmacist asked for a bi-lingual prescription, which once received, enabled him to supply the medicine to the customer.”

You can watch Ian Lang's report with the family tonight on ITV Cymru Wales at 1800.

Morrisons: Prescription procedures "followed correctly"

The supermarket that would not dispense a prescription at its Bangor store because it was in Welsh has defended its actions. Morrisons says under dispensing guidelines prescriptions must be in one common language and not a mixture.

We have followed all procedures correctly in line with dispensing regulations and the law.

– Morrisons

MP: Welsh prescription refusal "is a disgrace"

The MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams, says the treatment of the Mann family whose prescription was refused by Morrisons for being in Welsh is "wholly unacceptable".

I will do everything I can to support their case. The Morrisons pharmacy provides a service on behalf of the NHS - a public body - which is obliged to conform to Welsh language regulations. It is a disgrace that a young boy in need of medication should be denied this purely because of a supermarket's failure to allow people to access basic, day-to-day services in their mother tongue.

The prescription was bilingual and Morrisons’ behaviour was completely inexcusable. Local people are understandably outraged, as Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s plan to hold a protest shows. I will be keeping a close eye on any developments and I send Harley and his family best wishes for a speedy recovery in the meantime.

– Hywel Williams MP

Parents anger as store refuses Welsh prescription

The boy's family claims Morrisons in Bangor would not dispense the prescription. Credit: Aled Mann/Facebook

A family from north Wales claim a prescription for their sick son was refused by Morrisons supermarket in Bangor because it was in Welsh.

Aled Mann says on his Facebook page that the family took the prescription in on Tuesday as Harley had a chest infection but because it wasn't in English the supermarket said it could not dispense the drugs.

"No other pharmacist in Bangor or Caernarfon had what he needed so we had to go back to the surgery to get it changed," says Aled, then adding in Welsh "Gwarthus o beth yn gwlad ein hunain!!", meaning "It's a shameful thing in our country".

Later he reported: "Unfortunately Harley was admitted to hospital this morning. Who knows, if he'd have had the steroid tablets when he needed them it could have been avoided!!"

Local community councillor Arfon Wyn said the news was "disturbing".

"The parents were forced to dash back to the surgery to try and get the prescription changed. But from what I understand this was too late and the child had to be rushed to Ysbyty Gwynedd for treatment," he told ITV Cymru Wales.

"This is totally diabolical. It is the trend of these large supermarkets not to employ bilingual local people and so such terrible events as this can take place," he added.

The councillor says he plans to organise a protest of councillors and local business people at the store later today to demand a full investigation and a full apology.

A spokesperson for Morrisons told ITV Cymru Wales, "The pharmacy team are looking into it and are working with the store and area pharmacy team to find out what has happened."

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