PARKER Plant have donated £10,000 to the Ray Gravell and Friends Charitable Trust which has gone towards vital early diagnostic equipment.

A cheque was handed over at an event in the Meurig Williams Ward at Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli on Monday (Jul 23).

The dedicated resource for diabetes patients in Llanelli received the money as the nominated charity of Parker Plant Hire. George Parker and his company were the VIP Patrons at the Cofio Cinio event which was held at Parc Y Scarlets in October 2017.

Ten local businesses had paid £3,000 each for VIP Patron’s packages and their business cards were placed into a draw. Parker Plant Hire’s card was first out of the draw and received the £10,000 from the Ray Gravell and Friends Charitable Trust.

The Meurig Williams Diabetes Centre is a culmination of the relocation of diabetes services and was named after retired Senior Diabetes Consultant Dr Meurig Williams. The award has added poignancy as two of the nurses Debbi Tipping and Joanne Morris were nurses involved in caring for Ray Gravell during his treatment for diabetes.

It is the first time in Wales for a centre to offer all the services for the care and treatment of patients with diabetes including Diabetic Eye Screening Wales, Vascular Podiatry, Leg Ulcer Clinics, Diabetes Nurse Specialist Clinics, Chronic Conditions Clinical Psychology, Dietetics, Insulin Pump and Antenatal Clinics, in effect a one-stop diabetes centre. It has its own parking facilities right next to the building.

Diagnostic machines to test circulation

Dr Sam Rice is a Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist and the current WEDS secretary. He undertook his specialist training in many of the hospitals an South Wales and did his PhD in Cardiff University. He is now based at Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli. Speaking to Llanelli Online at the event on Monday Dr Rice said: “It is a fantastic amount of money which has helped us purchase equipment which allow us to detect issues at an early stage.”

“We aim to deliver the highest standards of service possible, we would like the best equipment so wether it comes from donations or funding that is the main priority to treat people as well as possible.”

Speaking about the growing number of people with diabetes Debbie Tipping said: “We are event driven in the NHS. It is frustrating to be fire fighting but we are looking at moving our whole service around to preventative work. What we are trying to do and what we will use the money for is for diagnostic machines to test circulation.

“If we can test them early enough we can give them the advice and halt alter the numbers. I believe it should become compulsory to have these MOT tests starting at a young age through healthy eating. We have more and more young children coming in with Type2 Diabetes. We are hoping to get more portable machines to take out to communities. They are extremely portable and can be taken to people’s homes. We rely heavily on charity.”

Dr Meurig Williams

Dr Meurig Williams said: “I am very honoured to have the new diabetes centre named after me. We are seeing a huge increase in diabetes. In the twenty years I was at the hospital the number of people with diabetes in Carmarthenshire has increased from 5,000 to around 12,000. It has more than doubled.”

Tests for diabetes are now readily available on the high street. Dr Williams said: “We already have pharmacies offering services, tests for diabetes. Once you develop diabetes we have a system where you get regularly reviewed by your local surgery. As the years go on you may need more treatment and we hope you follow healthy lifestyle advice. We rely heavily on charity. Diabetes is such a massive problem because it affects one in 15 people. The NHS has to carry most of the burden. 10% of the NHS budget is spent on people with diabetes. It is becoming increasingly difficult as people live longer and develop chronic diseases.”

In accepting the award at the glittering event addressing the audience and thanking the trust George Parker said that there were a few reasons for choosing his nominated charity.

The first he said was that a good friend of his Clive Dakin had lost his life to diabetes. Three of Clive’s sons were at the event as guests of Parker Plant Hire.

Secondly he said that diabetes is on the increase and needs support and it was at the heart of the Ray Gravell and Friends Charitable Trust’s work.

Thirdly he said It seemed to be the most appropriate charity. They have opened the centre in Llanelli.

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