Improving Health Provision in Mid Wales

Improving Health Provision in Mid Wales

Updated: January 2024

New Mid Wales Health Facility

As someone who has actively been supporting proposals for a new hospital and health facility to support north Powys residents over many years, I’m delighted that good progress in being made.

After many years of campaigning, a new hospital and health facility will be located in Newtown and will work side-by-side with the current network of community hospitals in Machynlleth, Llanidloes and Welshpool and district general hospitals around our borders, to ensure that we receive the right treatment much closer to home.

Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council are leading the project and we can expecting more detailed plans to come forward in the coming months.

Both organisations, working with others, are also developing a document called an Outline Business Case. This is a key document that will set out a more detailed plan for the services that will be provided, the timetable for completion, and the costs involved. This is all encouraging news. Following updates, I have recently had with the health board, the final Outline Business Case should be ready for submission to Welsh Government this Summer. This aims to coincide with Powys County Council submitting its case for the replacement of a new school build, Ysgol Calon y Dderwen, which is currently on the site where the new health hub in Newtown will be located.

In the early part of this year (2024), there will be opportunities for residents to get involved and share views as those detailed plans are developed.

I will continue to support the progress of the new hospital and health facility in Newtown. For many years I have regularly raised this project in the Senedd with the Frist Minister Mark Drakeford MS, and I am pleased that the project is gaining momentum.

The new hospital and facility will improve health and wellbeing services in our area, with enhanced health checks and appointments being offered locally, and some more minor operations being able to be delivered in Powys rather than having to travel out of county.

New Emergency Service Provision in Shrewsbury

In the Autumn, along with Craig Williams MP, I met with senior staff at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (SATH) to discuss the detailed plans for the proposed development of the Shrewsbury Hospital site.

This is such a positive development for us in Mid Wales and as we will see improved life-saving emergency healthcare located in Shrewsbury. The services planned are more significant than a standard A&E department. The plans also mean the return of the women and children’s consultant-led inpatient service return to Shrewsbury. I also believe the plans will vastly reduce current A&E waiting times at both hospitals, as well as ambulance turnaround periods. The changes and investment I of course hope, will help the trust to continue to confront its wider challenges and make the necessary reforms to attract top class consultants and clinicians.

The changes will mean that the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital will specialise in Emergency Care and The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will become a Planned Care centre. Both sites will have a 24-hour Urgent Care centre.

I think it is also important to point out that both hospitals will continue to provide adult and children outpatient services and diagnostic tests as well as a 24-hour Urgent Care Centre, Day Case Renal Unit and Midwife-led unit.

I’m very clear that it is also essential that some planned care is delivered locally in our local community hospitals in Llanidloes, Newtown, Welshpool and Machynlleth, to prevent the need to travel out of county to see a consultant. We need to see the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust work in partnership with Powys Teaching Health Board to achieve this going forward.

Following the submission of the final plans, SATH are currently awaiting the outcome from NHS England. In the meantime, planning permission is being sought from Shropshire council.

Assuming approvals are agreed, building work is expected to start in the early part of this year, and we have been told there is a target and projected completion date of the Shrewsbury site build and re-configuration by the end of 2026.

With all major developments I enquired about the need for all staff to be briefed on all the changes and developments which could affect their work, especially in the Accident and Emergency Department. I was pleased to hear from the Clinical Director they also agreed this was crucial to the development and build of the project.

The new plans to build at Shrewsbury Hospital are significant. I am hugely encouraged by developments.

Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital

This new development provides a base for health, local authority and third sector teams to work together in a community ‘hub’ which now has improved access to health and social care services, wellbeing, prevention, and health promotion facilities for Machynlleth and the Dyfi Valley.

Last Summer, I was pleased to visit the new build hospital and to meet with staff. The new facility includes a new dining room and café for patients, staff and families where they can relax with a tea or coffee and can even have some food whilst waiting.  The new facility is a modern looking hospital and is very much an innovative hub which I can see makes patients and staff feel more comfortable.