First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that “no decision has yet been made” on the future of the Welshpool Air Ambulance base.

This comes after comments made in the Senedd this week by Mr Drakeford after being questioned about the consequences of the potential closure of the Welshpool and Caernarfon bases.

The initial results of a public engagement which took place last year led to the two preferred options both seeing the bases merged at a new site in Rhuddlan in north Wales – which data modelling shows would impact the west of Wales.


Mr Drakeford was questioned about this by Mabon ap Gwynfor, MS, who asked: “The modelling shows that centralising services would mean that communities in north Anglesey, the Llŷn peninsula, Meirionnydd, Montgomeryshire and north Ceredigion would all lose out significantly.

“Does the First Minister, therefore, agree with me that this is concerning and, furthermore, does he agree that no reorganisation should be introduced that puts people at risk in those communities?”

Mr Drakeford responded: “Well, I can't agree with the Member, because what I have seen is that there were two principles from the experts in the field who carried out the work to see whether we can bring more out of the services that we currently have.

“The first principle was that if people are receiving the service now, then they should continue to receive that service.

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“The second principle was to see whether it was possible, through making changes, to have more people access these services. That was the purpose of all of this work.

“There are discussions ongoing with local people. But at the end of the day, if the work demonstrates that we can continue to provide the service that exists now to people in north and west Wales, and also ensure that more people are seen by the service in the future, then I can't say that I would oppose that conclusion.”

However, this is at odds with the response of the public who have overwhelmingly given their support to keeping the bases open.

When questioned about this by the County Times, a spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “The First Minister reaffirmed the two principles on which the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service Review is based.

"He was also clear that the process of engagement is ongoing, no option has been recommended and no decision has yet been made.”