Vale of Grwyney Summer of Fun Photographic Challenge

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COVID-19 Vaccination First Dose Drop-in Appointments in Powys

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Are you aged 18+ in Powys and still need your first dose?  

We have first dose drop-in appointments available this week at our Mass Vaccination Centres:  

Bronllys Hospital:
Tuesday 20 July 8:30am-6.30pm
Wednesday 21 July 8:30am-6.30pm
Thursday 22 July 8:30am-11:30am
Friday 23 July 8:30am-6.30pm  

Builth Wells Royal Welsh Showground:
Wednesday 21 July 8:30am-6.30pm
Thursday 22 July 8:30am-3:30pm  

Newtown Maldwyn Leisure Centre:
Tuesday 20 July 8:30pm-6.30pm
Wednesday 21 July 8:30am-6.30pm
Thursday 22 July 8:30am-6:30pm
Friday 23 July 8:30am-6:30pm  

First dose appointments are available with Pfizer and AstraZeneca on a first-come first-served basis.

Please keep checking our social media channels and website for updates.   More information about COVID-19 vaccination in Powys is available from our website at https://pthb.nhs.wales/covid-vaccine

Audit Notice – Year ending 31st March 2021

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Audit notice

Notice of appointment of the date for the exercise of electors’ rights

Vale of Grwyney Community Council

Financial year ending 31 March 2021

  1. Date of announcement  13th July 2021
  • Each year the annual accounts are audited by the Auditor General for Wales. Prior to this date, any interested person has the opportunity to inspect and make copies of the accounts and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts etc relating to them for 20 working days on reasonable notice. For the year ended 31 March 2021, these documents will be available on reasonable notice on application to:

Maria James, Clerk/RFO, Vale of Grwyney Community Council
Pleasant View, Fforest Coal Pit,  NP7 7LH

Email: valeofgrwyneycc@gmail.com     Tel 01873 890777

between the hours of   9:00 and 3:00 (by appt) on Monday to Friday

commencing on 20 August 2021

and ending on 17 September 2021

  • From 20 September 2021, until the audit has been completed, Local Government Electors and their representatives also have:
  • the right to question the Auditor General about the accounts.
  • the right to attend before the Auditor General and make objections to the accounts or any item in them. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the Auditor General. A copy of the written notice must also be given to the council.

The Auditor General can be contacted via: Community Council Audits, Audit Wales, 24 Cathedral Road Cardiff CF11 9LJ.

  • The audit is being conducted under the provisions of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004, the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014 and the Auditor General for Wales’ Code of Audit Practice. 

Electors’ rights under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004

The basic position

By law, any interested person has the right to inspect the council’s accounts. If you are entitled and registered to vote in local council elections, then you (or your representative) also have the right to ask the Auditor General questions about them or challenge an item of account contained within them.

The right to inspect the accounts

When a local government body has finalised its accounts for the previous financial year, it must advertise that they are available for people to look at. Having given reasonable notice of your intentions, you then have 20 working days to look through the accounts and supporting documents. You will be able to make copies of the accounts and most of the relevant documents from the body. You will probably have to pay a copying charge.

The right to ask the auditor questions about the accounts

You can only ask the Auditor General questions about the accounts. The Auditor General does not have to answer questions about the body’s policies, finances, procedures or anything else not related to the accounts. Your question must be about the accounts that are subject to audit. The Auditor General does not have to say whether he thinks something the council has done, or an item in its accounts, is lawful or reasonable.

The right to object to the accounts

If you think that the body has spent money that they should not have, or that someone has caused a loss to the body deliberately or by behaving irresponsibly, you can object to the Auditor General by sending a formal ‘notice of objection’, which must be in writing to the address below. You must tell the Auditor General why you are objecting. The Auditor General must reach a decision on your objection. If you are not happy with that decision, you can appeal to the courts.

You may also object if you think that there is something in the accounts that the Auditor General should discuss with the council or tell the public about in a ‘public interest report’. Again, you must give your reasons in writing to the Auditor General at the address below. In this case, the Auditor General must decide whether to take any action. The Auditor General will normally, but does not have to, give reasons for their decision and you cannot appeal to the courts. You may not use this ‘right to object’ to make a personal complaint or claim against the body.

If you wish to make a personal complaint or claim, you should take these complaints to your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, local Law Centre, or your solicitor. You may also be able to complain to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales if you believe that a Member of the body has broken the Code of Conduct for Members. The Ombudsman can be contacted at: 1 Old Field Rd, Pencoed, Bridgend CF35 5LJ, (tel: (01656) 641 150).

What else you can do

Instead of objecting, you can give the Auditor General information that is relevant to their responsibilities. For example, you can simply tell the Auditor General if you think that something is wrong with the accounts or about waste and inefficiency in the way the council runs its services. You do not have to follow any set time limits or procedures. The Auditor General does not have to give you a detailed report of their investigation into the issues you have raised, but they will usually tell you the general outcome.

A final word

Local government bodies, and so local taxpayers, must meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections. When the Auditor General decides whether to take your objection further, one of a series of factors they must take into account includes the costs that will be involved. They will only continue with the objection if it is in the public interest to do so. If you appeal to the courts, you might have to pay for the action yourself.

If you wish to contact the Auditor General, please write to: Community Council Audits, Audit Wales, 24 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9LJ

Telephone Scams

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The governors, parents and children of Llanbedr Church in Wales School call on everyone in the local community to respond to the consultation by the Conservative/Independent led Powys County Council to close our school.  They are pressing ahead with this even though our children have already endured an unprecedented year of worry and upheaval.

We totally refute the assertion made by Powys County Council that the closure decision has been made in the best interests of the learners at the school and that the children were at the forefront of the decision making.  Powys are not providing any new schools in our area and our children are NOT part of their “Transforming Education” plans.

Powys County Council state that the children would be attending schools better equipped to deliver the new curriculum with a wider range of educational and extra-curricular opportunities.   This is also untrue as Llanbedr Church in Wales School is at the forefront in implementing the new curriculum and is more than equipped to deliver the requirements of the new curriculum in the future.  The school provides an extensive range of educational and extra-curricular activities for pupils and members of the community.  There are outstanding facilities including much outdoor learning, sport, puppet club, and only last week a Year 3 pupil won a County art prize.  In 2018 Llanbedr won the Welsh Primary Schools Cricket championship and in 2019 were overall champions in a National STEM competition.

The majority of Llanbedr School’s children travel from outside the catchment to benefit from the Christian ethos, the inclusive welcome and focus on well-being. It is the only school in the area with an extensive range of after school extra-curricular clubs five days a week, plus breakfast club.  The school has increasing numbers and is a thriving happy environment for all children.  

Powys County Council are making statements and promises of “a better education” which we believe they are unable to deliver.

Please everyone – make your views known.  This affects us all.  It affects our rural communities.  It affects whether we want our villages to thrive.  It affects all schools in our area as it will increase class numbers in these schools which are already near capacity. It affects our children now and our children in the future.   Make your views known.

Visit https/:en.powys.gov.uk/transformingeducation

Death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

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Information about Covid-19 Vaccination in Powys – Issue 9

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Census 2021

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Information about COVID-19 Vaccination in Powys – Issue 8

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Information about COVID-19 Vaccination in Powys – Issue 7

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Glangrwyney Village Hall: A message from the Trustees

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The Trustees of the Hall have been invited to submit a full application to the Welsh Government to develop the Hall, after being successful at Stage 1. BUT we need to make sure our plans still have support from you and the community.

PLEASE complete our very short, online survey. It will only take a few minutes, but every response will strengthen our application. Please respond by March 12th 2021.

Full information can be found on Glangrwyney Village Hall’s web site

Information about Covid-19 Vaccination in Powys – Issue 5

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Llanbedr CIW School is under threat of closure

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Powys County Council is planning to reconfigure primary school provision in the county as part of its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030. These plans involve the closure of Llanbedr Church in Wales School.

The Cabinet meets on Tuesday, 9th February when it will be asked to start the statutory process to close the school.

The school strongly opposes its closure and is petitioning the Portfolio holder for Education – Councillor Phyl Davies. If you would like to sign the petition to help save the school please click on the following link:

Petition · Councillor Phyl Davies Powys Council: Save Our School- Llanbedr CIW is under the threat of closure and we need your help. · Change.org

Keep Wales Safe Newsletter

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The ever-changing COVID-19 situation continues to put NHS staff and services under huge pressure.

Now more than ever people need to think carefully about where the right place is to seek advice and avoid extra pressure on the NHS this winter.

However, the NHS is still here for you if and when you need it, but the way you access services might be different.

We are encouraging people to still attend their hospital appointments when asked to or review their treatment. A range of appropriate measures have been taken in hospitals to keep people safe, including treating people with coronavirus or suspected coronavirus in separate areas to those who do not have the virus to prevent the risk of it spreading.

The NHS is working hard to keep services running while trying to keep you safe. If you are worried about persistent symptoms contact your GP. After being offered a medical appointment please make sure you attend at the scheduled time. It is safe to do so. Alternatively, you may be offered a video consultation; this is still a full consultation visitbut saves you travelling to your local surgery.

As well as making sure you seek help when you need it, the Keep Wales Safe campaign is asking people to use the online symptom checker on the NHS 111 Wales website (111.wales.nhs.uk) or call 111 for advice on where to go to get the right treatment.

By choosing the right service for your needs we can ensure we do not put extra pressure on GPs, Emergency Departments and the emergency ambulance services as they continue to tackle the pandemic.

Did you know that community pharmacies play a key role in helping people, with minor ailments and injuries, get the right medicines and support. Where possible you can assist pharmacists by ordering repeat prescriptions seven days before they are due.  Or if you have a minor injury there are clinics that can treat you so you don’t need to go to A&E? Find your closest clinic online.

And remember if you have COVID symptoms no matter how mild,  please self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or call 111 if symptoms persist and you can no longer cope at home.

We’re all in this together. Help us help you.

Information about COVID-19 Vaccination in Powys – Issue 4

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Crickhowell & Surroundings Villages – Flood Plan

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Scam NHS Covid Vaccine Emails

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Information about COVID-19 Vaccination in Powys – Issue 3

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Information about COVID19 Vaccination in Powys

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Update for Stakeholders Issue 2, 15 January 2021

Dear Colleagues

Writing this second stakeholder bulletin provides me with an important opportunity to reflect on all that has already been achieved, as well as the tasks still ahead. Please do accept my apologies that this briefing is in the English language only. The fast pace of change on COVID-19 vaccination means that I did not want to delay
sending this update to you. Bilingual information was shared with households earlier this week and is available from the links later in this document.

Just two weeks into 2021 sees some important milestones already being reached. Over 7000 people have now been vaccinated through the Powys vaccination programme. Invitations to every registered patient aged 80 and over have now been sent – these have been sent first class so will arrive in the next few days if they have
not already done so.

Our third mass vaccination centre opened in Builth Wells this week, and arrangements are in place for the Newtown mass vaccination centre to relocate to its new location at Maldwyn Leisure Centre next week. Thank you to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and to Freedom Leisure for their support.

Our vaccination capacity is set to expand by the end of next week so that we can deliver up to 4000 doses a week already – although this remains dependent on the More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys is available from our website at: http://www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination supply we receive from national stocks. And, armed forces colleagues have joined the local COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Later next week will also see vaccine supplies delivered to all 16 GP practices, so that the network of GP practice-led vaccination clinics can open in the week beginning 25 January. This follows our first pathfinder service which began vaccinating Presteigne Medical Practice patients yesterday (14 January). We know that all our GP practices are keen join the programme – and with the “wholesale licence” process concluded
this means that all the necessary arrangements are in place for them to begin.

Each priority group is being invited in turn. We continue to ask everyone not to contact their GP, pharmacy, hospital, health board or local authority about an appointment – please do wait to be contacted as this is a very big task to put in place the biggest vaccination programme the country has ever seen.
Our vaccination programme is only possible because of the people who deliver it. It is perhaps easy to think of a vaccination programme in terms of vaccines, centres, clinics and letters. But all of this is only possible because of people. First and foremost, this is the people we are here to serve – you. But all of this work depends on a massive team effort by staff right across the health board and many different partner organisations, as well as an amazing team of volunteers. I think it is fair to say that many staff across the health and care system are very tired after nearly a year of responding to COVID-19. The prospect of the vaccine brings that glimmer of hope as well as new work challenges, so I remain truly grateful to all of you for your patience and support for our team whilst this programme is put in place. Vaccination is by appointment only, and we are following the guidance on priorities set by the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This means that vaccination is currently under way for the JCVI’s top priority groups:

• Residents of care homes for older adults – nearly all residents have now received their vaccination
• People aged 80 and over – all registered patients aged 80 and over will have received their invitation letter by early next week
• Frontline health and care workers – to help protect the vulnerable people in their care, who are most at risk of catching coronavirus and developing serious illnesses – information has been sent to employers across the county. By early next week, everyone in these groups will have received their invitation. By mid February our goal is to ensure vaccination for everyone in these groups, as well as:
• People aged 75 and over
• People aged 70 and over
• People who are “clinically extremely vulnerable” – remember that this is a smaller group than the people with underlying health conditions who receive the seasonal flu immunisation.

By the spring, our goal is to offer vaccination to everyone in the remaining national
priority groups:

• all those 65 years of age and over
• all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality – broadly this group includes those who receive the seasonal flu
vaccine, and it also includes “those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill”
• all those 60 years of age and over
• all those 55 years of age and over
• all those 50 years of age and over

The Welsh Government’s new national strategy also aims to offer vaccination by the autumn to the rest of the eligible adult population according to the further guidance that the JCVI will produce on priorities.
Whilst good progress is being made in so many areas, I do recognise that there are a number of challenges:
• There is no doubt that travel and transport is a big challenge in a county covering 2000 square miles. Even with three mass vaccination centres established – each needing to serve a large enough catchment to be able to use the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – this still means long journeys from the borders of the county. I would encourage everyone who can take up an appointment at a mass vaccination centre to do so – and there is more information about why this is so important later in our bulletin. But, I fully understand that for some people this is not an option, in which case please do get in touch with our booking team to let them know so that we can put alternative arrangements in place including for people whose clinical needs mean that they are housebound.

• Putting in a booking & appointment system at this scale has been a monumental task for our small team here at the health board. I know that there are still teething problems with our phone lines, and with the information in some of the letters people that have been received. The team is working extremely hard to get the systems right so that you can have the booking experience you expect and deserve. I have been truly humbled by the passion and commitment they have brought to this work.

• Again, I need to reiterate this is all dependent on the continued supplies of the vaccine, which is outside our local control. We do have guaranteed supplies of good quantities of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but as this can only be used in our mass vaccination centres we do encourage as many people as possible to take up the offer of an appointment in Newtown, Builth Wells or Bronllys. There is more information later in this bulletin about our mass vaccination centre model.

So, the key messages for everyone are:

• Everyone in Powys aged 80 and over will have received their invitation for vaccination by early next week. These invitations are for vaccination at the mass vaccination centres. We encourage you to take up this appointment if you can, as it will be the quickest way to receive your COVID-19 vaccination. However, we recognise that travel to a mass vaccination centre isn’t the right option for everyone, and you can use the contact details in your letter to contact us so that we can make alternative arrangements.

• Vaccination of care home residents is nearly complete, which is a great milestone for the county.

• From next week, invitations will begin to people aged 75 and over, with their appointments likely to take place from 25 January.

• Please wait to be contacted, and thank you for your patience.

• Vaccinations are by appointment only, and please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible to help us give everyone the best possible experience at the vaccination centres.

• You will receive your invitation when you are due for your appointment, based on the priority order across the UK).

• Please don’t contact your GP, pharmacy, health board, hospital or local authority about an appointment.

Good progress continues to be made in Powys – we still have the highest levels of vaccination per head in Wales – and we will all see the vaccination programme continue to expand during January and beyond.

Thank you for everything you are doing to Keep Powys Safe – and please do feel free to share this information in your organisations, networks and communities.

Carol Shillabeer
Chief Executive, Powys Teaching Health Board

More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys is available from our website at:

What to expect at a Mass Vaccination Centre – a personal view from Susie. We think this post from Susie on Facebook gives a lovely glimpse into the experience of attending a mass vaccination centre with her 95-year-old mum

VACCINATED!!! Wonderful. WHAT a weight off my mind. I know a lot of local folk had a lot of questions. Hope the following will help.

RWAS in Llanelwedd. They’re using the Powys Pavilion [S.E. corner of main ring, next to Members Centre, opposite Principality]. The volunteers show you where to park, having asked for your time slot.
Wheelchairs ready for those – like my 95 year old Mum – who need help to whizz in. Hand sanitising just inside the door; up the ramp / stairs. Booth to check in on the right. Lots of delightful volunteers and some VERY charming R.A.F. chaps to help [the lad I was chatting to was raving about the Caer Beris, who are doing them proud]. Brilliantly organised – and everyone very upbeat. After all, they’re dispensing hope.
There are 9 ‘lanes’ set out the length of the building; dark blue curtains on frames. Bit like a row of wide racing stalls! Carefully distanced seats in front of them: called in to a large lane cubicle; curtains drawn: a few questions inc. have you had a reaction to any other injections before. Choose which arm you want it in [not the side you usually lie on]. Needle is extremely fine. PFIZER vaccine. Pin prick but honestly, didn’t feel anything else. Given precious bank-card sized card with two spaces for vaccination details. Pfizer;
date, batch number. Second one to be filled in when second vaccine given. Thank the nurse. Go out through another curtain at the back of the cubicle to waiting area. Seated and chatted to by R.A.F. lad / volunteers: wait 10 – 15 minutes to make sure there’s no reaction. Go – chairs wiped as soon as we stood up. Volunteer came with us: wheelchaired mum to car, loaded her up; volunteer took wheelchair away. Done and dusted. Home. Both fine.
Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences, Susie.

You can follow Powys Teaching Health Board on Facebook, and @PTHBhealth and @BIAPiechyd on Twitter
for the latest social media updates from the health board.

More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys is available from our website at:

Our Mass Vaccination Centre model
Mass vaccination centres are a critical part of the vaccination model in the UK, including here in Powys.

The main reason for this is that we have good levels of guaranteed supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. But, this vaccine has very stringent requirements for storage, transport and supply. It arrives with us in trays of 975 doses which cannot be split, and is stored at very cold temperatures. When we bring it to a usable temperature it needs to be used within five days.

The second vaccine to receive licensing – AstraZeneca – is not yet available in such reliable quantities. It is much easier to store and transport, which means that we have been able to vaccinate care home residents, and supplies will soon be shipped to GP practices across the county. But, until supplies are ramped up we remain heavily reliant on Pfizer/BioNTech.

You may also have heard that a third vaccine has been licensed for use – Moderna – but this will not be widely available in the UK until the spring.

The specific requirements of Pfizer BioNTech mean that mass vaccination centres need to be located where they can draw on a very large catchment – to deliver nearly 1000 vaccination doses in a short space of time.

We receive very good supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which we can only deliver from mass vaccination centres. The centres themselves also need to provide an environment that offers safe storage of the vaccine to avoid waste. They must also ensure social distancing for everyone involved – not just when you receive the vaccination, but also to wait safely after the vaccine to check there is no reaction. This reduces the options for where and how these centres are established. Susie’s description above really brings this to life.

Here in Powys we have been able to quickly set up three vaccination centres in the county – Bronllys, Builth Wells, and Newtown – each serving around 40,000 people in the south, mid and north of the county.

We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of our staff and partners to get three vaccination centres set up so quickly, providing guaranteed COVID-19 vaccination appointments for our residents as soon as possible. As a result, over 7000 people have already been vaccinated through the PTHB vaccination programme, and we are on schedule to offer COVID-19 vaccination to Priority Groups 1 to 4 by mid February in line with the national strategy.

But Powys is very large and very sparsely populated, which means that delivering this vaccination programme is challenging for us and for our communities. Even with three mass vaccination centres, this still means that some residents have some distance to travel to get there.

We fully recognise this, which is why we will make sure that our approach is as flexible as possible.

On the one hand we do need as many people as possible to take up the invitation to a mass vaccination centre if they are able to do so. This will be best way to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

But we do absolutely recognise that travel and transport may be an issue for you, particularly in our large county. If you are not able to travel to the mass vaccination centre, then please contact our booking centre to let them know. They will be able to cancel your appointment at our mass vaccination centres and put alternative arrangements in place – although you may need to wait a little longer for a local appointment (this is due to the supply of AstraZeneca, as mentioned above). Rest assured that even if you are unable to contact the booking centre to cancel your appointment, you will still be re-contacted. We do kindly ask you to be patient and wait to be contacted about your alternative appointment.

Your mass vaccination centre appointment will be your quickest opportunity to get the vaccine, so we would encourage you to go ahead if you can, but please do contact the booking centre if this is not the right option for you. A reminder that we all need to follow Hands Face Space whilst the vaccine programme progresses
As the vaccine is rolled out, we all need to follow the safety rules and keep ourselves and our families safe. This is particularly important as there is a new variant of coronavirus that spreads more easily and is circulating in every part of Wales – including here in Powys.

To do this, we all need to meet as few people as possible; wash our hands regularly, wear a face covering and keep our distance from others. We also need to continue to follow the Coronavirus Alert Level 4 guidance in Wales.

By taking these important steps for ourselves, and for those around us, we can all play our part to Keep Powys Safe.

Alongside this, you must self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms These are: high temperature; a new continuous cough; a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste.

If you have symptoms then get a test. Local testing units are available across the county – our mobile testing units move this weekend as part of their programme to bring local testing to each part of the county. Home testing kits are available if you cannot travel.

You can book a test online at http://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You can book a test by telephone by calling 119 between the hours of 7am and 11pm. Calls are free. If you have hearing or speech difficulties call 18001 119.
If you do test positive then please help our local contact tracing team to stop coronavirus in its tracks. Our local Powys contact tracing team is here to protect your health and the health of others, and is part of our Test Trace Protect partnership between Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council.

We all hope the vaccine will lead to a better and brighter 2021 and an end to this pandemic.

New National Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination
Welsh Government has published their COVID-19 Vaccination strategy. This sets out the national priorities, infrastructure and timetable for delivering vaccination to the people of Wales.

You can read the strategy on the Welsh Government website: http://www.gov.wales/covid-19-vaccination-strategy

The national priority group milestones are:
• Milestone 1 – by mid February – cohorts 1 – 4. Subject to supply, our aim is to offer vaccination to all care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; those 70 years of age and over; and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
• Milestone 2 – by the Spring – priority cohorts 5 – 9. Subject to supply, which becomes more uncertain further into the future, our aim is to offer vaccination to all Phase 1 priority cohorts (i.e. 50+s and clinically vulnerable/at risk).

It is estimated that taken together, these at risk groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from Covid-19.

• Milestone 3 – by the autumn. Our ambition is to offer vaccination to the rest of the eligible adult population according to the further JVCI guidance that will be produced on priorities. We do not yet know supply for this phase, so there is further planning to do on this milestone that will take account of supply and the further JVCI guidance.

Local delivery in Powys is on target to deliver milestone 1. However, we do recognise that many factors that may affect delivery – such as supply of vaccine – are outside of our control. Our local vaccination plan is due to be discussed at a meeting of our Board later this month, and once published we will ensure it is shared with you via this bulletin.

COVID-19 Vaccination Online Q&A Event with Carol Shillabeer Thank you to everyone who joined our online Q&A event with Carol Shillabeer on 12 January. If you were not able to join at the time, you can watch it back by using this link

They have been helping in a wide range of areas, from logistics and supporting people when they come for vaccination to answering phones and booking people in. In addition to the six personnel working with us in Powys, there are currently another 64 RAF personnel and 14 Army Combat Medical Technicians, under Joint Military Command Wales, deployed as part of the vaccination support force supporting other health boards in Wales and further troops deployed with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust on driver duties and decontamination tasks. http://www.pthb.nhs.wales/news/health-board-news/vaccination-heroes-military-support

Update on Vaccination of Care Home Residents
Just two weeks into January we have provided vaccination for nearly every resident of a care home for older adults in Powys.

The Immunisation Team visits Plas Cae Crwn in Newtown
Our outreach team has been out and about across the county to vaccinate residents of care homes for older adults. With nearly 1000 older adults living in care homes in the county, this has been a big task and we are very grateful to the residents, care home staff, and our outreach team.

We will need to make some further visits – for example, residents are not able to receive the vaccine within 28 days of onset of COVID infection. So, if someone has recently had the infection we will arrange for vaccination at an appropriate time. Residents of care homes for older adults, alongside care home workers, are the top
priority group for COVID-19 vaccination based on advice from the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. So, delivering this many vaccines by mid-January is a really important milestone for the county.

Following the licensing of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 30 December – and with some supplies now beginning to reach the county – we quickly implemented our plan to take the vaccine out to care homes from last week. The AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to store and transport than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but is not yet available in such good and guaranteed supplies. This does mean that alongside outreach programmes like these, we do need as many people as possible to attend our mass vaccination centres so that we can offer vaccination to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

Plans are also being put in place for other patients who are unable to leave their homes, and we will share more details soon.


Vaccination Heroes: Our Partnership with RWAS
Wednesday this week saw the opening of the new Mass Vaccination Centre at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells. In its first few days of operation it will see almost 1,000 Powys residents aged 80 and over receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Vaccination under way at the Royal Welsh Showground
Husband and wife Alec and Elizabeth Tompkins both received their vaccines at the centre and expressed how glad they were to have had it and how they hoped that it would help bring things back to normal soon.

The showground at Llanelwedd provides a great central location in Powys for the vaccination centre and has excellent facilities available to make the vaccination process as easy as possible.

As well as the fantastic support from the showground staff in getting set up, health board staff are supported by an army of volunteers as well as by members of the Royal Air Force to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Carol Shillabeer, Chief Executive of Powys Teaching Health Board said “This really goes to show the benefits of partnership working in Powys. We have been working together with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society on testing and now we are doing COVID vaccinations. I would like to thank Steve and his whole team for the help and support they have given us over the past year.”

Steve Hughson, Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society explained that “There have been huge difficulties right across the events sector since COVID struck. We were not able to hold our regular events at the showground last year and there remain huge challenges still ahead. Despite these challenges, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society is proud to be able to work with Powys Teaching Health Board and to support the work they are doing to combat the virus.

We have hosted a COVID testing facility here on the showground for a number of months now and I am really proud to see the Mass Vaccination Centre opening here on the showground. We are delighted to have been able to play our part in helping the wider community in Powys at this time and we will continue to support in any way we can to help get back to normal and welcome people back to the showground for future agricultural events.”

Working Together Across County Borders
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is provided based on where you are registered with a GP. Some Powys residents are registered with GPs in neighbouring counties. If this applies to you, the health board (Wales) or clinical commissioning group (England) will ensure that arrangements are in place for you to receive your COVID19 vaccination. Health bodies are working together across county borders to make sure that no one misses out.

More information about vaccination programmes in neighbouring counties is available
from our website:

Further Information about COVID-19 vaccination:
More information about our COVID-19 vaccination programme here in Powys is available from the Powys Teaching Health Board website:
http://www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination/ More information about the national COVID-19 vaccination programme in Wales is available from the Public Health Wales website:
• Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru (CY) and Public Health Wales (EN)

The latest information about the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses delivered in Wales is available from the Public Health Wales dashboard – please remember that PTHB has the smallest population of all health boards, and is around a third of the size of the next health boards (Cwm Taf Morgannwg, Hywel Dda):
• Public Health Wales dashboard More information about the Welsh Government’s strategy for COVID-19 vaccination:
• Llywodraeth Cymru (CY) and Welsh Government (EN)

You will receive an invitation when you are due for your vaccination. You don’t need to apply for an appointment – please don’t contact your GP, pharmacy, health board, hospital or local authority about an appointment until you are contacted.

Powys Teaching Health Board Up-dates

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Please see message below from Powys Teaching Health Board:

Thank you for everything you have been doing during this challenging year to support communities across the county and to Keep Powys Safe. As the festive period fast approaches, we are encouraging everyone to please think carefully about what you ‘should do’ rather than what you ‘can do’.

Coronavirus is spreading faster and wider in Wales than at any other point in this pandemic. Our public services are under intense pressure as they work around the clock to care for people and keep Wales safe. Frontline workers are putting everyone’s health and care first, every day. But as the virus continues to spread, so too does the strain on our NHS and other public services. We must do everything we can to protect our NHS and save lives. The virus is also having a major impact on our emergency services. Over the coming days and weeks, we need to make sure they are there for those who really need them – for real emergencies. Thank you so much to all of you who continue to follow the rules.

Sadly, as coronavirus cases grow ever higher, our chances of catching and spreading this awful virus also increase. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe this Christmas, please avoid mixing wherever possible For most people the virus will cause a mild illness but there are many who are at risk of serious illness if they catch it. Too many families have already lost loved ones to this terrible virus – if we don’t act now, even more deaths will follow. And, these pressures also mean that public services are less able to respond to the many other needs that we all have. Our actions and decisions over the festive period, and in the coming weeks and months, will shape Wales for years to come.

Please, let’s all think carefully before we act – and protect our public and emergency services so they’re there for when we really need them. And, ahead of the Christmas and New Year period I wanted to share with you a few updates on COVID-19 prevention and response in Powys Teaching Health Board.

1. Coronavirus Testing in Powys

It remains vitally important for everyone to get tested if they have Coronavirus symptoms – new continuous cough, fever (high temperature) or loss of change to sense of smell and taste.   Our Coronavirus testing options remain unchanged in the week ahead, with home testing kits available across the county as well as the option of visiting a testing centre in Brecon, Newtown, Llanidloes, Ystradgynlais and Builth Wells.   Full details of how to book a test in Powys are available from our website (link below) and updates are also shared regularly through our social media channels.   We continue to be grateful for your support in promoting the availability of Coronavirus testing to Powys communities.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

2. Travelling to Coronavirus Tests

We recognise that the issue of travel to and from testing centres can be a source of anxiety in our communities.   We continue to reinforce the importance of travelling safely to and from the test, and also promoting the option of home testing to reduce the need for travel and for people who are unable to travel to a testing centre.   Information about safe travel is available on our website (link below) and is being shared regularly through our social media channels.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

When you go for a Coronavirus test you MUST follow the self isolation rules: www.pthb.nhs.wales/news/health-board-news/travel-safely-for-coronavirus-tests Information about Coronavirus testing is available from the PTHB website: www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing

3. COVID-19 Immunisation in Powys

COVID-19 vaccination is under way in Powys, with the first vaccinations beginning last week for frontline health and care employees. More information about the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination to other groups will be available soon.   Due to the limited quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine presently available – as well as the very stringent requirements for temperature control and storage – our first vaccinations in Powys are focusing on frontline health and care employees.   We expect to receive more supplies of vaccine on a weekly basis, and there are good signs that more different types of vaccine will become available soon. This means that we are making plans for vaccination of other national priority groups, beginning with care home residents and people aged over 80. We expect this to begin in the New Year, and we will be contacting people direct to arrange an appointment.   We also currently expect that when priority groups are offered COVID-19 vaccination, this will also be offered to their unpaid carers.   Advice on national priority groups is provided by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.   The COVID-19 vaccination is currently only available through our vaccination hubs for frontline health and care employees. Please do not contact your GP Practice, pharmacist or hospital for an appointment.   We know this can be an anxious time, but we are working very hard to ensure that all those eligible receive their vaccine in turn as supplies are provided to us.   Understandably, there will be a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. You can find answers to most frequently asked questions on the Public Health Wales COVID-19 vaccination information pages.   We have also added a new section to our own website about COVID-19 vaccination (link below) and information is also being shared through our social media channels.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

Almost 3000 health and care staff will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Powys by Christmas. Vaccination for care home residents and people aged 80 and over will begin early in the new year. Information about COVID-19 vaccination in Powys is available from the PTHB website at www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination

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