Been to a presentation for 'stakeholders' by the 'Project Board' responsible for the delivery of a Satellite Kidney Dialysis Unit at Welshpool Hospital today. In part, this was why I couldn't attend the Secondary School Reorganisation debate at Llandrindod Wells. I campaigned for this renal unit when I was an Assembly Member, and I've stuck at it since. Its probably been the most frustrating campaign in which I've ever been involved. Its been an example of the public sector at its absolute worst. But today was different, and the difference was Ms Chrissie Hayes, Executive Director of Planning at the Powys LHtB. I believed her when she promised that the first stage of this project would be delivered later this year. I should add that I'd stopped believing anything I'd been told about this project many months ago.
I'd put out a press release about the meeting, but I don't want to tread on the toes of PR firm, Good Relations, who were there today in the form of Noreen Bray. First met Noreen when she was BBC Wales' main newsreader - a very long time ago. She hasn't changed much. All I'm doing is blogging what I knew before going into the meeting. The most encouraging aspect of the meeting was the enthusiasm shown by nephrologists (kidney specialists) from both sides of Offa's Dyke about the working arrangements they have (finally) agreed on. And I also learned that the two politicians who have given proper priority to renal dialysis in Wales have been Lord Crickhowell and Edwina Hart - two people that I admire.
Decision to put Powys a top priority was taken (after much delay) in January 2008. There isn't really a word to describe what happened next (inertia is the nearest, but does not do it justice) - until Chrissie Hayes arrived on the scene last October. Its taken five months, but today did finally arrive. I can now call a meeting of all those people who have given donations to "enhance the patient experience" in the new unit. Welshpool Town Hall on 7th April. We could have an official opening of the temporary 'demountable unit' in late summer - with the permanent unit following in 2012.