The Wales Air Ambulance Charity has "welcomed the decision" to close the base in Welshpool - and explained why it believes it needs to happen.

The charity said in a statement that the merger of the Welshpool and Caernarfon bases at a new site in north Wales will be a “major service improvement”.

This comes after a vote today (April 23) which saw the Welsh NHS’s Joint Commissioning Committee vote to approve the plans which would see the closure.

Speaking on behalf of the charity’s trustees, chief executive Dr Sue Barnes said: “This Review was important as lives are currently under threat. It is vital to address the issues of unmet need, inequity and service underuse.

“The inequity is clear to see when we look at the number of incidents our service was unable to attend in Powys and North Wales, between the hours of 8pm and 2pm, during this 18-month review process. 310 incidents.

That is not a hypothetical figure and these are not hypothetical cases.

“These are real patients with very serious and life-threatening conditions.

“Sadly, some of these patients will have died.

“Why were we unable to attend? Because, at present, our service is not being delivered in the most effective way.”


The charity has said it was very aware of the anxiety of the population in Powys about the changes and has said the changes will allow them to use the donations in the most “effective” way.

Dr Barnes added: “Throughout this process, we consistently said that we aim to ensure any independent recommendation put forward can enable us to guarantee that charitable donations are used in the most effective, patient-focused way.

"This means saving as many lives across Wales as possible, and in doing so, making sure that no community is materially disadvantaged as a result of any changes.

“We want to thank the communities in the northern parts of Mid Wales and North West Wales for the incredible passion they have shown for the charity. I want to reassure you that you are not losing a service. There is no credible evidence whatsoever to suggest patient outcomes in your areas will be negatively impacted as a result of this development.

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“Also, rumours are circulating that we will be removing an aircraft from our primary fleet. That’s not the case. The service will continue to be delivered with four helicopters and a fleet of rapid response vehicles.

“This is an improvement for all parts of Wales, particularly Mid and North Wales who will be gaining a more local overnight service – something they don’t have at present.

"To put that into context, that is 750,000 people who have to rely on an available response from Cardiff after the hours of 8pm. This solution allows us to remedy that at no extra cost to the people of Wales.”