Tories under fire over ‘new hospitals’ election pledge
The Welsh Conservatives have been accused of showing a lack of honesty to voters, after being forced to clarify a manifesto promise to build five new hospitals, including two in Powys.
In the party’s manifesto for Thursday’s election, the Tories pledged to build the new hospitals if they win a majority of seats in the Senedd, but subsequently admitted just two new hospitals would be built – none in Powys – and existing hospitals there, in Newtown and Llandrindod would only be “upgraded”.
The two new hospitals are planned for Flint and Rhyl, with a decision on a third hospital in west Wales the subject of a review of healthcare provisions in the area, according to party officials.
Highlighting the promise, printed on both the inside cover and on page two of the election manifesto, the Welsh Liberal Democrats reproached the Conservatives for “a disappointing breach of trust” and lack of clarity.
“Any improvements to the local health service should be welcomed but voters need to know what they can expect. There is a big difference between a new hospital and an upgrade,” leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Mid and West Wales Candidate Jane Dodds said.
“I’m proud to be standing on a costed and realistic manifesto which is focusing on our recovery.”
“Welsh Liberal Democrats are being open and honest with voters over our plans. We want to see people receive the right care at the right time, an increased focus on early diagnosis and intervention, more services provided in the community by pharmacists which will take vital pressure off hospitals and A&E departments in particular.”
William Powell, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, who spent several weeks unconscious, and on a ventilator last year after contracting Covid, added, “Our NHS has been through so much this last year and I know from personal experience how vital their work is.
“Political parties owe it not only to the public, but to the NHS staff to be open and honest about their plans and it would seem the Conservatives have been anything but honest with their manifesto.”