Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Calling the Assembly Government.

Hello. Is there anybody there. I'm calling from a place known as Mid Wales. Its that part of the country which you claim to govern, North of Merthyr, that you have to pass through to reach Wrexham. People live there, real people who pay taxes, and need services - and in particular suffer from kidney diseases, just like everywhere else.

Last night, I joined a meeting of Welshpool Hospital's League of Friends. I was invited to talk about the long awaited renal dialysis unit which has been anticipated for years now. This is a subject in which I have retained an interest since losing my position as an Assembly Member. Unusually, everyone is in agreement about this project. The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust desperately needs it, as a 'satellite' unit because it cannot cope with current demand. The Powys Local Health Board have submitted a business case to Health Commission Wales. Even the Minister has made supportive statements about it. And Kidney Foundation Wales are supportive. The League of friends tell me that they have raised a good sum of money to put towards the cost. And yet, from Health Commission Wales there comes a deafening silence. Deep, deep frustration all round.

What's to be done - apart from threatening to set fire to the Senedd, an idea to which I'm opposed. I advised tackling the politicians. I will write to Nick Bourne who represents the area. I suggested writing to Mick Bates AM, another local representative. And I also recommended writing to Nerys Evans, Alun Davies and Joyce Watson, who both represent Mid and West Wales and are part of the Government Coalition parties. One of the reasons I opposed the establishment of the Assembly in 1999 was that I thought Mid Wales would be less well treated than when being governed from Westminster. There are a lot of people living in Montgomeryshire who are now saying the same thing. We want our Renal Dialysis Unit in Welshpool.

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