THERE will be no hospital closures in Powys.

The chief executive of  Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) Carol Shillabeer, stressed this at a meeting of Powys County Council’s (PCC) health and care scrutiny committee on Thursday, September 26.

At the meeting with councillors she answered a whole raft of questions on health issues and also moved to calm fears of any future closures.

Committee chairman, Cllr Gwilym Williams (Conservative – Disserth and Trecoed) asked: “Are the health authority committed to the community hospitals?

“And do you have any plans in the short or long term of closing any of those down?

Carol Shillabeer replied: “I can be clear, the save our hospital signs can be put in the bin.

“That’s not to say that the type of provision doesn't need to change.

“We’re not about closing community hospitals.”

Cllr Williams, thanked her for the response and added: “It’s a clear answer to a straight questions as many people wonder.

“This dismisses any problems or speculation.”

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Michael Williams (Independent – Machynlleth) had raised concerns over the delayed upgrade of the Bro Dyfi Community Hospital in Machynlleth.

Cllr Williams said: “It’s a pleasing answer, but until actual work starts on proposed projects, people will worry and naturally so.”

Ms Shillabeer, answered: “I agree and I am frustrated and know more about planning than I ever needed to know.

“You have my absolute commitment that work on that project will start.”

PTHB has an annual budget of £300 million.

Of that, 25 per cent is used on directly provided services, such as community hospitals and health teams.

Another 25 per cent is spent on primary care such as general practitioners (GPs) dentists, optometrist (eyes) and pharmacists.

And 50 per cent is on secondary and tertiary care.

Due to the sparse population there is no District General Hospital in Powys.

But PTHB buy in the service and has the equivalent of 250 beds in other District General Hospitals outside of the county and these include, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Nevill Hall (Abergavenny), Bronglais (Aberystwyth), Morriston (Swansea), Wrexham Maelor and Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

The community or cottage hospitals in Powys are:

  • Brecon War Memorial Hospital
  • Glan Irfon Health and Social Care Centre in Builth Wells
  • Knighton Hospital
  • Llandrindod Wells County War Memorial Hospital
  • Llanidloes War Memorial Hospital
  • Machynlleth Community Hospital
  • Montgomery County Infirmary in Newtown
  • Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welshpool
  • Ystradgynlais Community Hospital.