Last week, the Chair of Powys Local Health Board sent a 'confidential' letter to a few selected persons. It read as follows,
"Andy has recently met with Ann Lloyd, Chief Executive, NHS Wales, to discuss the timing of possible public consultation in Powys.
Ann advised him that Welsh Assembly Government will be issuing guidance on the future of community services and community hospitals in December.
She also advised that Welsh Assembly Government would be reluctant to see public consultation exercises run in the lead up to the Assembly Elections and that as a consequence we should be planning to commence public consultation in June or July 2007 at the earliest. Ann acknowledged that this would have to be reflected in a revised SCEP.
In light of this we may as a Board wish to rethink the timetable for implementing 'Doing More Doing Better' in discussion with Andy. I am calling an informal Board Briefing for 2.30pm 15th November to allow us an opportunity to consider these issues ahead of the informal Board meeting on the 29th.
The venue of the Board meeting will be confirmed shortly but I am trying to arrange it in Llandrindod Wells.
Chris Mann and Andy Williams are the Chair and Chief Executive of the Powys Local Health Board, which has taken the highly controversial decision to close 3 Community Hospitals in Powys. Ann Lloyd is the civil servant who heads up the NHS in Wales.
If one were of a cynical mind one could easily think that there may have been a suggestion from an 'independent' civil servant to an 'independent' LHB to ensure that there is no damaging publicity for the Labour Government before the Assembly Election next May.
It will also be interesting for the public who attend the 'open' LHB Board meeting on the 29th to know that there has already been a pre-meeting to sort out 'the line to take'.
I just thought I would let the people of Llanidloes, Knighton and Builth Wells know about this.