Powys Teaching Health Board has said it wants details of how the county can retain its road response if Welshpool's air ambulance base shuts.

A joint letter was signed by a number of Welsh MPs and MSs concerned about the potential closure of the Welshpool base, including Montgomeryshire MS, Russell George, Powys’ Conservative MPs Craig Williams and Fay Jones, and Plaid Cymru’s Ceredigion MP Ben Lake.

The letter raised a number of concerns, including pointing to the "vague and untested" nature of the resources being used to help areas that would be worse off if the bases closed and the greater risk of 50 per cent of the helicopters being unavailable in bad weather.

Chief Executive of Powys Teaching Health Board, Hayley Thomas, said in response to the letter that a number of issues had been discussed by the board in a meeting last week about the potential closure

“During the meeting members scrutinised the reports from the Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner and discussed these proposals in detail,” said Ms Thomas.

“Board members restated our shared strategic goal to reduce unmet need, reaffirmed the value and importance of the partnership between EMRTS and the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, and agreed the need to provide stability and direction for staff, the charity and the public, following a prolonged period of uncertainty.

“The board also acknowledged the strength of feeling from the people of Wales including here in Powys. Following conscientious consideration of the report and appendices, the board agreed that further information is needed before decisions are made on the next steps.”


Ms Thomas said the board were looking for assurance that 'if people receive the service now they should receive the service in future' particularly in relation to road response when the air ambulance is not available, recognising that a new north Wales base “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”.

She added that while the plan currently signal “clear intent”, as commissioners they would “want to be confident that an affordable and deliverable model is place for operationalising this.”

Ms Thomas also said that a meeting on Thursday, March 28, by NHS Wales Emergency Ambulance Services Committee, would provide an provide “opportunity to understand the positions of all seven health boards in Wales and to discuss the next steps”.