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Senedd to debate future of mid and north Wales Air Ambulance service

07 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Air Ambulance & North Wales Fire & Rescue Service by kelosscross is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Proposals to close and relocate two existing rural bases of the Wales Air Ambulance are set to be debated in the Senedd next week.

The plans, which were first launched in August 2022, could see the combining of crews from the lifesaving service, with bases at Dinas Dinlle and Welshpool, and moving them to Rhuddlan in the north east of Wales.

Changes have been met with widespread concerns, with people across mid and northwest Wales questioning the data behind a decision to move a helicopter and road vehicle base further away from existing localities.

Over 20k people have signed petitions calling for the existing services to remain intact and now Russell George MS is set to lead a Welsh Conservative debate on the Wales Air Ambulance bases reorganisation.

In November the Welsh Government was criticised after Health Minister Eluned Morgan rejected calls for an independent assessment of the data underpinning plans to close Wales Air Ambulance bases at Caernarfon and Welshpool.

At the time Rhun ap Iorwerth, MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on Health and Care raised serious doubts about plans to close the bases to create one central base, which they believe can only lead to a deterioration in the services provided to some of the most hard-to-reach areas, including Ynys Môn, the west of Gwynedd and mid-Wales.

Councillors from Powys, Gwynedd and Ynys Môn as well as representatives from farmers unions have all added their voices to the campaign, fearing the potentially longer waits for urgent care could increase the risk of loss of life in the hardest to reach areas.

They have also questioned the reliability of data suggesting the service would meet a higher demand, possibly 580 call outs a year if it moved.

Deep concern

Welsh Conservatives are calling on the Welsh Government to work with its NHS partners and the Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust to ensure that the current bases remain in operation.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Mr George said: “The service provided by the Wales Air Ambulance to the people of mid Wales and other areas of Wales is invaluable, but there is deep concern about how the proposals to move the Welshpool and Caernarfon bases will strengthen cover in Mid Wales.

“We have seen both the First Minister and the Health Minister attempting to distance themselves and deny responsibility for a proposal that has come from a service of the Welsh NHS.

“I hope that in this debate, we can highlight the clear concerns of people from Mid and North Wales, and that the Welsh Government will agree to work with its NHS partners and the Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust to ensure that air ambulance bases in Welshpool and Caernarfon remain in operation.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Such a bad idea the Senedd is bound to go with it, come on Adam Price stick up for us…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

By that I mean there is something immoral about it…

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Whats immoral about it- The charity says by moving they can help more people – If thats immoral im mystified.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

I don’t believe them and the guy who used to head it does not either…

MATTHEW TAPPING
MATTHEW TAPPING
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

True, the ability to take off is going to depend on the weather at the one site now rather than at three. “Sorry, we can’t attend due to bad weather” is going to be more common. Even now, when they cannot take off from Caernarfon at least they are an additional mobile ground resource in the area which will also be lost. All the charitable investment in the site waisted. it’s a bad idea and one organisations go thorough, centralising and decentralising…centrali…

Last edited 1 month ago by MATTHEW TAPPING
NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago

The Welsh Air Ambulance service is a Charity so nothing to do with The Welsh Govt. We are lucky to have such a service and no matter where it is based it will be available to help us. It is wrong to make it a political potato so Mark D is right to distance himself from it

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

MDs job is to look after the people in Wales end of…I would not trust the Baroness for a second…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Do you know anything about flying helicopters in an mountainous landscape when the cloud is on the deck…you follow the coastline which makes Llandwrog essential. I still look with deep sorrow at the dark shape of Rhinog Fach…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
David
David
1 month ago

If the Welsh government and Councils contributed to the charity they could possibly have their voice heard!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  David

How about those members of the public who put their hands in their pockets having a say…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Wrecsam have scored…2

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Alun
Alun
30 days ago

The senedd feed the wales NHS and they are responsible for EMERTs who produced the report, and theycare trying to dictate to the charity what has to be done. There is nothing wrong with improvements but they should NOT be at the expense of an existing standard i.e. the ability to have a timely response to the Lleyn Peninsula, western Anglesey and Mid Wales.

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