Welsh assembly hears call to keep Wales air ambulance base at Welshpool

Proposals to move a Wales Air Ambulance base away from Welshpool were raised in the Welsh Senedd this week by Russell George MS.

Welsh assembly hears call to keep Wales air ambulance base at Welshpool

The charity has had a base serving mid Wales from Welshpool airport since 2006.

However the charity is looking at moving the helicopter and rapid response vehicles to a base in North Wales to join one already there. It would mean an air ambulance would be available from 8am until 2am much longer than at present.

Russell George MS and the Montgomery MP Craig Williams MP have met with the Charity to raise their and residents' concerns.

In the meeting, the Trust said that no formal decision has yet been made over the plans, and the Charity committed to holding a consultation with residents and interested parties.

After raising concerns at the First Minister's questions, Mr George said: "I was keen to stress the point that the service is valued and loved, which is why many have donated to the Charity, and why the proposal has been met with such disappointment.

"I asked for the Welsh Government's view on the proposal and for a thorough consultation, given the involvement of the Welsh NHS.

" I also asked if the First Minister had seen the data behind the proposal and if he was willing to release it into the public domain."

"Even though the charity has not asked for public funding from the Welsh Government, as the Government is ultimately responsible for ensuring Powys residents can receive emergency health facilities, I have asked the First Minister to intervene.

"This proposal has come jointly from the Wales Air Ambulance charity, and a service within the Welsh NHS. I believe that this is very much a matter for Welsh Government Ministers, not just the charity."

The charity says re-structuring the service will allow it to respond to more call-outs.

It says that the changes will Wales Air Ambulance could attend up to 26 more missions in Powys every year.

"The service can increase its responses in Powys by 11 per cent. This is the highest improvement increase per 1000 population of any county in Wales," a spokesperson said.

A public meeting call by protestors to discuss the proposals will be held in The Monty Club in Newtown on Friday at 7pm.

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