Powys Teaching Health board has voted to oppose plans that would close the Wales Air Ambulance base in Welshpool.

In an extraordinary meeting of the board this afternoon (April 11) the board felt it could not vote for the proposal due to a lack of detail in the plans and concerns being raised by Llais over the consultation.

The board expressed scepticism in the many aspect of the proposals particularly in a “bespoke” land ambulance service which was being proposed.

The vote will not stop the closure on its own, which will be put to a majority vote among all Wales' health boards, but adds a vital dissenting voice to the final decision over the plans. 

In a tweet, campaigner and Powys Plaid Cymru councillor Elwyn Vaughan called on Eluned Morgan to halt the closure. 

Concerns were raised as no details of the cost or shape of the new road-based service were given, with a “task and finish group” which would include the Health Board promised instead.

Board chair Carl Cooper said: “We absolutely accept the need for change and we absolutely accept the unmet need that is happening currently.

“But based on the discussions today and the information available to us, it our position that we are unable to support the recommendations as we have insufficient evidence the recommendation 4 will mitigate of the loss of the base in Powys.”

This sees Powys Teaching Health Board joining Betsi Cadwallader in not putting their support behind the closures.

Chief Executive of Powys Teaching Health board, Hayley Thomas said there was “a level of fear in rural communities” about the plans that tied into poor ambulance response times in the county.


She said: “Are we in a position to approve the proposals when there is just a ‘task and finish’ group without detail, specification or cost to inform our decision?”

She added they needed more information on this as they had a duty to “build confidence” in any plans and to assure the concerns of board members.”

Emergency Ambulance Service Commissioner Stephen Harrhy, who ran the public consultation and put forward the proposals said: “I do not think we are rushing the decision. We know there are people who could benefit in Powys who do not access it” and claimed “there are about 50 patients in the last 18 months who may have missed out”.

Katie Blackburn of Llais, who represent the public in matters of health and social care, said there had not been enough details given about the proposals and that the strength of feeling of the public in Powys had not been addressed, and that she was “concerned that a decision is being sought before that work is undertaken.”