GUARANTEES are wanted by health campaigners that the contract extension of out of hours medical provision between Shropdoc and Powys Local Haelth board will be long term.

This week Powys Local Health Board has said that it will extend it's contract with Shropdoc to March 31, 2019.

The contract had been due to end on September 30.

Here in Powys, Shropdoc is set to work side by side with the Welsh Ambulance Service who will be providing the advice on the NHS 111 Wales phone line.

From October people will need to ring the 111 phoneline for advice, but they will be seen to by Shropdoc medical staff.

This follows announcements that Shropdoc have won the tender to provide out of hours care for in Shropshire which includes Telford and Wrekin.

From October 1, Shropdoc will be part of a new partnership with Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (Shropcom).

Carol Shillabeer, chief executive of Powys Teaching Health Board, said: "This is very reassuring news and has already enabled us to extend our contract with them to March 31, 2019."

"As Shropdoc has been successful in this tender process we will now continue our discussions with them about the future delivery of GP Out of Hours services for the people of Powys.

"We look forward to working with Shropdoc and wider partners to ensure that there continues to be a good GP Out of Hours Service for Powys.

"These are vital services and we are determined to ensure a sustainable service continues to be provided for the county.

Health campaigner and Powys County Councillor, Joy Jones, is hoping to meet Ms Shillabeer to discuss the out of hours service.

Cllr Jones, said: "I welcome the announcement, but now I'd like to see the contract with Shropdoc extended beyond the end of March next year.

"They have been doing a fantastic job for the people of Powys for many years, and I feel there is a need for a long term contract with Shropdoc to be sorted out so that we can have peace of mind as to who we should contact and where we need to go if we have a medical emergency."

Dr Russell Muirhead, Chairman at Shropdoc, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the tender process.

“With our passion for delivering high quality patient care in the community setting we are excited at the opportunity to now develop our partnership with Shropcom and work with the commissioners to improve urgent care service design and delivery, ensuring the best use of resources for our patients.”

Until NHS 111 Wales is implemented across the County in October, people can continue to use the Shropdoc telephone number of 03332226655.