One of the leftover issues from my eight years as an Assembly Member, is the provision (or not)of renal dialysis services in Welshpool. The lack of progress has been deeply frustrating. Over the last few months I've been trying to establish a local campaigning committee, under the auspices of Kidney Foundation Wales, to help move things along. We have a few volunteers and we want the Chair of KFW to launch it - which is what we'll do as soon as we get a date out of him.
Yesterday, there was a significant 'event' in Cardiff City Hall, when everyone involved in kidney dialysis in Wales met to thrash out a programme for new and replacement units. I'd been in discussions about this beforehand, and knew it was crucial that Powys (Welshpool) be at, or near the top of this list. I'm told that Powys (Welshpool) and Gwynedd (Bangor) were ranked equal top priority - which is very good news for us. Real hope at last.
The programme agreed at yesterday's workshop will be submitted to the Assembly Government by the end of the month. And from then on, there's the usual bureaucratic process to go through, which should deliver a renal dialysis capacity, attached to Welshpool Hospital before the end of 2009. I know. We've heard this before, and before, and before. But it looks like good news to me, and I admit that I'm optimistic that this time, we might just get a result.