Changes to hospital services and cuts to public spending are amongst the subjects looked at in this week's Sharp End
A mother tells the tragic tale of her little boy who died with a metabolic disease which was not identified until after his death.
Stillbirth is the most common form of child mortality in Wales, with around four babies dying every week.
A final decision on controversial changes to health services in mid and west Wales will be made at a meeting of Hywel Dda Health Board this morning.
The proposals include:
- closing Mynydd Mawr Community Hospital in Llanelli
- downgrading Llanelli's Prince Phillip Hospital's A&E to an 'urgent care centre'
- centralising maternity care and developing specialist paediatric services, including a Complex Obstetric Unit at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen
Nurses are taking the lead in a new initiative aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related injuries.
The 'Have a Word' campaign, led by Cardiff University, aims to cut the number of alcohol-related injuries and illnesses by training nurses to identify signs of alcohol misuse and speak to those drinking at hazardous levels.
Around 1600 nurses, pharmacists, midwives and dentists have already been trained as part of the programme, which is being rolled out across Wales.
Trials carried out by Cardiff University's violence research group with nurses, who remove stitches from patients following alcohol-related injuries, found that 'brief interventions' were highly effective.
Professor Jonathan Shepherd, director of the research group, said the programme aims to prompt the patient to recognise the harm their drinking has cause, review their drinking, set themselves drinking limits and take steps to reduce their hazardous drinking.
Research shows that alcohol consumption has risen by 19% since 1980 and a quarter of Wales's adult population now drink at hazardous levels.
The campaign is being launched in Cardiff today.
Andy Cole is the Chief Executive of Children's charity, Bliss, and he says more must be done to help vulnerable babies in Wales.
A hearing has been told how an experienced midwife stunned her colleagues after they discovered she had gone for a cup of tea while one her patients was due to give birth.
Helen Bannister was highly regarded among staff at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, with more than three decades of service.
A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel in Cardiff heard Mrs Bannister later wrote over an entry in the patient's medical records, which had been written by one of her colleagues
The matter had previously been dealt with in-house by hospital bosses, but they decided to bring it to the attention of the medical watchdog after she was accused of sending home a pregnant woman who had pre-eclampsia.
But two years later, she found herself the subject of fresh disciplinary proceedings after adjusting a different patient's medical records - this time ones which were 17 years old.
Mrs Bannister was not present at the hearing, and officials said she had not made any representations against the three allegations.
NMC officials said although Mrs Bannister had retired, the case needed to be investigated to uphold the public's faith in the nursing profession.
The four-day hearing is due to finish on Thursday.
Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has launched an oral health care improvement programme for the whole of Wales.
It's based on a scheme that's been running in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board area, which aims to improve the quality and safety of mouth care for adult patients in hospital.
– Ros Davies, Oral Health Promotion Officer
Mouth care is a vital part of nursing practice and there is lots of evidence that links poor oral hygiene with reduced quality of life, a longer stay in hospital and an increased risk of hospital-acquired infections, particularly respiratory diseases.
The mouth care package, which includes best practice guidelines and care plans, was tested on a number of wards across the ABM health board before being finalised.
The number of deaths linked to drugs and drink in Wales have increased by 31% in 10 years, compared with 15% in England.
Figures show 496 people died as a result of drug or alcohol use in 2010 here. In 2001 that figure was 380.
The rate of deaths from avoidable causes remains higher in Wales than in England, although it has fallen by almost a quarter over the 10 years.
The planning application for a giant incinerator in Cardiff has been referred to Environment Minister John Griffiths.
The National Assembly for Wales petitions committee want the Minister to look at the planning permission granted to Viridor and to comment on whether the application process was carried out fairly and properly.
In March Cardiff City and County Council were found guilty of maladministration after failing to consult local residents over the plan.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has visited two specialist ABM healthcare services developed in response to the changing needs of modern healthcare.
The Minister met with members of staff from the Physio Self Referral Service and the Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service.
The services were set up in response to an increase in demand for physiotherapy and orthopaedic services and the health board says they have successfully treated more patients and reduced the length of time patients wait to be seen.
The Health minister was impressed with the units.
– Lesley Griffiths AM, Health Minister
“This is a great example of best practice. It’s about patients being able to see the right people at the right time, and here the infrastructure is in place for that to happen. The satisfaction of both patients and staff is very clear to see.
The Physio Self Referral Service allows patients across the Health Board to telephone a physiotherapist directly to discuss their musculoskeletal problems.