News that the preferred site for a new health and social care facility for North Powys will be in the centre of Newtown has been welcomed by local Assembly Member, Russell George, but the AM has said that the proposals need to demonstrate that the new facility will help to strengthen health facilities in other towns in north Powys also, and that a new school build in Newtown next to the health facility, should be developed at the same time.
The AM for Montgomeryshire had previously welcomed the recent announcement of an additional £2.5 million of Welsh Government funding to develop plans for a multi-agency well-being campus, including a Rural Regional Centre.
A recent update provided by Powys Teaching Health Board has confirmed that the Rural Regional Centre could be co-located next to new school facilities as well as a Community Wellbeing Hub which could be part of a network of other Community Wellbeing Hubs across North Powys.
The North Powys Wellbeing Programme aims to focus on wellbeing; promote early help and support by being able to provide technology that helps you live at home; tackle the biggest causes of ill health and poor wellbeing; and ensure joined up care involving neighbourhood teams and communities working together so that you have a more seamless service when you need it.
Mr George said:
"I'm pleased that Powys Teaching Health Board has confirmed that the preferred site for a new health and social care facility is to be based in the centre of Newtown. A town centre location is the correct place to help further regenerate the town centre, but the proposals also need to demonstrate that the new facility will help to strengthen health facilities in other towns in North Powys.
“This is a very exciting development for Montgomeryshire, and I’m keen that plans are developed for other towns so we can understand how the new facility can support wider needs.
"This is such welcome development which should see a range of benefits for people of all ages by joining up the provision of local public services. Further capital funding will have to come forward if the project and new facility is to become a reality and I shall continue to lobby the Welsh Government in this regard.
"This innovative way of delivering health and social care in close proximity to educational facilities is a positive step forward for North Powys which will make it easier for families to access essential services locally rather than have to travel some distance from North Powys to access support, health checks and appointments.
“I think it is important that plans for the new school next to the health facility are developed at the same time as we need to ensure that the new school build has sufficient space, and I’m keen that the local authority and the health board provide details on the potential build of both the new school and the health care facility as soon as possible.
"In the meantime, and while we await this new facility, I will continue to lobby for improvements to support existing health services in our area."