Met the new Chief Executive of the Powys Local Health Board yesterday. Honestly I did - just her and moi. Just a hastily arranged meeting to discuss an issue that I considered important. Bit of a 'first' this. In the past, my 'avenue' has been an invitation to HQ at Bronllys which involved all politicians of all parties going along to receive a prepared presentation. This new 'open' approach endears Judith Paget to me, and will endear her to the people of Powys as well. And of course, the one sure way of stopping me and my ilk from posting aggressively, digging around to find out what's going on. She's no fool either. I'm already a fan of the new Chief Executive - which does not mean that I'm always going to agree with her though!
Back to the issue. I'm told that after many decades, Newtown GPs are withdrawing their presence from Newtown Hospital. This involves creating a new minor injuries unit at the GP's surgery to replace that at the Hospital, and responsibility for the patients at the Hospital coming under the care of a consultant rather than the GPs themselves. The reason this is in the public domain, and that I feel that I can post on it, is that adverts have gone out for senior nursing staff to support the Hospital based consultant.
There is a lot of other stuff behind this decision as well, but it seems to me that the only concern we should have now is that the new arrangements work out OK for the people of Newtown who need treatment. The reason I decided to involve myself in this issue was that several people were telling me of their concern about what was happening to their Hospital - and inevitable believing it to be a threat to its continued existance. No reason whatsoever to think this is the case. But the people need reassurance. I hope that there will be some immediate strategy to explain what is going on and to reassure Montgomeryshire people that a proper emergency service will be retained.