Hundreds in Shropshire sign petition to save Welshpool's air ambulance base

More than 1,200 people in the Bishop's Castle area have signed a petition to save the Welsh Air Ambulance base in Welshpool.

Derek Pugh and Councillor Heather Kidd with the petition in Bishop's Castle
Derek Pugh and Councillor Heather Kidd with the petition in Bishop's Castle

Lydham resident Derek Pugh has collected the signatures over several weeks and he is still persisting. The air ambulance plans to consult on proposals to close bases in Welshpool and Caernarfon in favour of a new hub in North Wales.

Mr Pugh has presented the signatures he has so far to Shropshire Councillor Heather Kidd and is still adding more sheets.

Councillor Kidd, who represents Chirbury and Worthen on the council, is the Lib Dem health spokesman on the council and she plans to use the petition to show the strength of local feeling in the area.

The concerns centre on worries that it could take emergency air ambulances longer to reach remote rural areas such as south west Shropshire, if an emergency response is not available from the Midlands Air Ambulance – which has three helicopters based at Cosford, Strensham in Worcestershire, and Tetenhill in Staffordshire.

Councillor Kidd said: "I am delighted to receive Derek's hard work and will make sure that Shropshire's Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny is aware of it. They agreed to take part in the consultation when it finally materialises.

"I will also contact Healthwatch Shropshire so that they also take this strength of feeling into account."

The service review of the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru), which works in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, has agreed to “explore and maximise the additional activity that could be achieved from existing bases and to explore options to reconfigure the service”.

In an update on January 26 it said the public engagement for the review was expected to start in "early February".

Stephen Harrhy, the Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner, said: "We expect to be publishing information on the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee website this week which continues to build on the briefings of the pre-engagement in the form of an extensive FAQ, for example followed by a digital animation explainer.

"My team has continued to meet with stakeholders, these have been in person, via Microsoft Teams, e-mails, and phone calls in the run up to the formal engagement process.

"I would like to reiterate our commitment to ensuring this engagement is done thoroughly; We very much want to get this process right and to ensure that plenty of notice is provided to ensure that those who want to participate are provided with the opportunity to do so.

"Please be assured that we will share information about the confirmed timetable as soon as we are able."

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News