PATIENTS are still in the dark and wondering what will happen to the Renal Unit at Welshpool's Victoria Memorial Hospital.

The renal unit at the hospital can provide kidney dialysis for up to 24 people a day.

But the life saving service is actually provided by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which covers North Wales.

The renal unit at Welshpool is in effect a satellite of the unit based at Wrexham.

Discussions over changes as to how renal patients are dealt with in North Wales will have an impact on Powys residents.

Fears were raised earlier this month that the unit could be privatised as the Health Board is consulting on how best to provide the life-saving service.

And a decision was expected to be made by now, but Betsi Cadwaladr says that this has not been made yet.

The decision could affect where Powys dialysis patients will receive their treatment.

Many could be faced with long journeys up to Wrexham's Maelor Hospital several times a week.

A patient told The County Times: "We've had meetings with the unit manager, but we're still waiting to find out what's happening, these changes are supposed to be in place by April, so time is now an issue.

"We need to know what's happening."

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies is also the North Powys Kidney Patients Association co-treasurer. He has written to Gary Docherty, Betsi Cadwaladr chief executive, with a number of questions about the renal unit.

Glyn Davies said: "Staff are nervous about what's being said, but we don't know enough details."

At the moment Mr Davies has not received an answer to his questions.

The discussion over privatising the service has even been the subject of debate at the Senedd in Cardiff where First Minister Carwyn Jones said that there would be no privatisation of services in Wales.

A spokeswoman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "The decision hasn’t been made yet, there is no update at the moment."

A spokesman for Powys Teaching Health Board said: "Renal services in Wales are commissioned nationally by the Welsh Renal Clinical Network (WRCN) rather than by us locally and provided in Wrexham by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, who employ the staff.

Dr Evan Moore, executive medical director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "Currently, renal services across North Wales are provided by either the NHS, an independent provider or a combination of the two.

"As services at the Welshpool unit are provided by the Wrexham renal team this naturally forms part of the review."

If you have any questions or would like to share your views on the service contact Toni Hamlett at or a message can be left with Bethan Davies on 01978 727100.