There has been a lot of publicity about the proposed closure of post offices in Mid Wales over the last few days. But this was not the Powys story that shocked me most this week. It was this one. I've not had the chance to work out the implications of it yet - so shocking is it.
The Chair of the Powys Local Health Board, Chris Mann described it yesterday with the words "it was fair and thorough, albeit hard hitting". That was one hell of an understatement. The 'It' was a report by the NHS Clinical Governance Support and Development Unit. And it said that the 10 Community Hospitals in Powys are unable to meet standards of safety. It said that all services should be transferred to other areas as soon as possible in the interests of patient safety. And it said a lot more of the same.
Now two things occur to me. Firstly, is this going to lead to yet another attempt to close down Community Hospitals in Powys? And secondly, how on earth can the Chair of the Board not feel compelled to resign - nothing personal, but I've never seen anything so damning. We knew there was a serious problem when the LHB's Chief Executive resigned last year - and we knew that there had been other major changes at senior management level - but I don't think any of us knew it was as bad as this. We also know that the Powys LHB's budget is spiralling into debt. I really do fear for our hospitals this time.
Its all very well for Health Minister, Edwina Hart to start beating the drum about wanting improvements. Lets not forget that this has happened under the watch of Governments of her party. This story has not received anything like the coverage it warrants. Its a real genuine scandal - which has put people's lives at risk.