The final decision over the future of Welshpool's Air Ambulance base has been delayed again.

A decision over whether Welshpool's air base should be retained was expected at a meeting today (Tuesday, March 19) but after Llais and Wales' health boards agreed to put it off by nine days.

There will now be an extraordinary meeting on March 28 where chief executives of the health boards of Wales will vote on the future of the base, as well as another at Caernarfon. Both could close and be merged on a single base, most likely at Rhuddlan near Rhyl.

A report published last week, following two years of talks and campaigns, had proposed closing the current bases.

READ MORE: Outrage as final report recommends closing Welshpool Air Ambulance base

Chief executive of Powys Teaching Health Board Hayley Williams said that the board would be meeting tomorrow to consider its view, and comments in a letter from Llais who brought up a number of issues of concern about the public consultation.

The meeting also noted campaigners' concerns, while a petition was handed in last week opposing the closures which had received over 33,000 signatures.


The final report by Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner, Stephen Harrhy, notes that there are flaws with the new proposals.

It reads: "Whilst Rhuddlan is able to provide whole population coverage at 60 minutes, its more northerly location limits the coverage it can provide for southern population in 30 minutes compared to Welshpool and Caernarfon."

It also notes: "Rhuddlan is not able to replicate the full geographical and therefore whole population coverage that the current base locations are able to provide at 90 minutes travel time by road."

However they argue that the new plans would reduce "unmet need" across Wales and Mr Harrhy said in the meeting that he would be able to "plug the gaps" in north west Wales.

This comes after the data analysis undertaken in the public consultation shows that the two recommended options would see a poorer performance in Gwynedd, Ceredigion and western Powys.

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Mr Harrhy added that while "some clinicians in some areas are concerned but the majority are in favour."

He also said he was exploring a way to put together a "bespoke rural road service". 

In the meeting it was revealed that Llais had raised concerns that the language had not been clear in consultation and that the report was not written in "everyday language".

They added that the five days to respond to such a detailed engagement report was not "sufficient time to analyse the report" and "provide detailed points of feedback, so our feedback is more general in its nature".