Showing posts from October, 2016

Bringing the community with you as you tackle drugs problem

Published in the Llanelli Herald on 28th October 2016 Like many similar sized towns Llanelli has a drug problem. Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral fibre or willpower, and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Research shows that drug use is also linked to a person’s environment and quality of life. There’s no doubt in my mind that the wiping out of our industry in the 1980s, and the economic decay that has followed, has contributed to a sense of despair that some people are tempted to try escape from with the help of chemicals. But drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Fortunately, in Llanelli there are people trying to help. I recently went to Chooselife drop-in centre in Copperworks Road to meet the te

Powdered egg anyone?

Column published in Llaneli Star on 26th October 2016 Powdered egg anyone? Doesn’t sound very appetising does it? But it’s on the menu at Glangwyli hospital in Carmarthen. I questioned Wales’ Chief Nurse about it last week and asked if she liked powdered egg. “It depends what's in it”, she replied. I used my position on the Assembly’s respected Public Accounts Committee to hold a hearing on the quality of hospital food. It may not be the most glamorous of subjects but having read a recent report by the Auditor General for Wales on how the quality of food offered to sick patients differs between health boards I was genuinely angered by what I read. One in three patients said that they found the meals unappetising in the last patient survey carried out across Wales. A Million pounds worth of food is thrown away uneaten every year. We called the Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales and the Chief Nurse to explain. They’ve made a lot of progress they told the

Hospital is doing well

Column published in Llaneli Star on 5th October 2016 For years whenever the subject of Prince Philip Hospital has hit the news it has usually been for negative reasons. So last Friday I was delighted to stand alongside Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething, our MP Nia Griffith and SOSSPAN campaigners Tony Flatley and Brian Hitchman for some good news: the official opening on the new Acute Medical Assessment Unit Three months after opening its doors the new style A&E unit at Prince Philip Hospital is exceeding expectations. All the people who have worked hard to get the new model of working up and running gathered to together to celebrate their achievement, and to hear about its success in its first three months of operation. The Hospital Director Dr Robin Ghosal told us patients are getting a better experience than a year ago. Ambulances are no longer stacked up; the average amount of time patients are staying in medical beds has nearly halved and 96% of peop