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Could dot-cymru replace dot-com in Wales?

A mobile that predicts Welsh text messages. Credit: PA

A report published today by the Welsh Government recommends 27 ways that Welsh can boost business.

The report examined how the use of the language and bilingualism could support business growth and economic development and how economic development could raise the use of Welsh.

Among it's recommendations are that businesses be encouraged to use the “.cymru” internet domain suffix if the opportunity arises.

It also says an on-line networks in Welsh could maintain contact with Welsh speakers who leave Wales to study or for work and these networks will encourage experienced Welsh speakers to return to Wales.

Wales should also learn from the experience and good practice in other bilingual communities such as the Basque country, Quebec, and Catalunya says the working group who compiled the report.

Research should be also be undertaken to examine the effect of improving road and rail communications between strong Welsh speaking areas and main employment centres and public sector contracts should require tenderers to demonstrate an ability to provide a bilingual service.

Click here to read the full report published by the Minister for Economy Edwina Hart.

Morrisons issue statement over prescription row

Morrisons have issued a statement following a protest over a toddler's Welsh prescription.

"We stand by the actions of our pharmacist who was dispensing this medicine to a patient in need, and had to be sure he was giving the correct dosage."The customer actually went to a different pharmacy first, and they did not carry this medicine. We were asked by that store during a phone call to help by supplying the medicine instead.

"Our pharmacist was told during this phone conversation that it was half in Welsh and half in English. Without seeing the original prescription, he could not judge whether he could translate it, so he asked for a translation to ensure he could be clear of the exact instructions. It is vital that any drug is dispensed correctly.

"This translation followed within approximately two hours of the customer arriving at the first pharmacy - by fax to us.

"When the customer arrived at our store (for the first time) the medicine was dispensed as prescribed.

"At no stage did we turn the customer away, or refuse to dispense the prescription, and we strongly refute this accusation.

"We fully support the use of the Welsh language, and use dual language signage in our stores. Where medicines are concerned however, we are not prepared to take the chance of making a mistake and we hope all customers will understand that."

– Morrisons

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Protesters say 'everyone has the right to live in Welsh'

Protesters angry at Morrisons pharmacy in Bangor say "everyone should have the right to live in Welsh", and has taken steps to see if legal action should be taken against the company.

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.

– Sian Howys, rights spokeswoman for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg

Protest due over Welsh language prescription row

Morrisons store
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."

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.

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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
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