IN five years time, it is hoped that a brand new hospital will have been built in Newtown.

Powys Teaching Health Board, (PTHB) chief executive, Carol Shillabeer revealed the hope, at a meeting of Powys County Council’s (PCC) health and care scrutiny committee.

There she had explained some services, such as day-surgery and endoscopy procedures were being done in community hospitals at Llandrindod Wells and Brecon.

Councillors from north Powys asked about services in their own area.

Ms Shillabeer said: “It gives a really lovely opportunity to flag the work that we are doing jointly on the North Powys Well-being programme.

“We are absolutely looking at the opportunities to provide those services to the north.

“I’m reasonably confident there is a case to have an endoscopy unit in the north and that it will be part of the well-being programme.”

Ms Shilllabeer added: “I very much hope in a few years time we will be sitting here discussing the development that has come to fruition.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Gwilym Williams, (Conservative – Disserth and Trecoed) pressed for more details.

“Can you be more specific, are you talking about six months or six years?” asked Cllr Williams.

Ms Shillabeer added: “We are working to give the outline case to the Welsh Government in the early part of next year.

“It’s difficult to give a time, I have an ambition that within five years we will see it.”

But she warned that taking the project through the process which includes presenting the case to the Welsh Government and also finding the money needed would take time.

Ms Shillabeer was later reminded that Powys extends north of Newtown for many miles.

Cllr Emyr Jones (Independent, Llanfihangel), said: “We’ve been talking about the north of the county all afternoon, but where is it?

“You have massive areas north of Newtown.

“Llangynog, Penybont Fawr, Llanrhaeadr, Llanfyllin.”

“We don’t deal with the south at all, all the patients in my area go to Wrexham or Shrewsbury.”

Cllr Jones stressed that this vastness meant the Air Ambulance is a vital service.

The new (small or community) hospital which is part of the North Powys Well-being programme is supposed to bring health and social services together under one roof and is a joint PTHB and PCC scheme.

In May, The Welsh Government announced that £2.5 million of funding has been made available for the project, although it is likely that the project would cost at least 10 times that amount to build.

The area being earmarked for this development is The Park in Newtown.