For many years I've been interested in the provision of a kidney dialysis unit in the grounds of Welshpool Hospital. Its been one of those 'three steps forward;two steps back' sort of projects. It's an issue that this blog occasionally visits and updates readers on.
There was a meeting of what is called 'The Stakeholder Group' (OK, I know this is depressingly officialese) when I was away in the 'Sunshine State'. So I arranged a conference call with Chrissie Hayes (Powys tLHB) and Nick Wilson (Wales Renal Network) this morning to brief myself on the latest position. And I want to share all that is 'public' with my readers. And should begin by declaring my optimism that we could be entering the home straight.
The final business case has been prepared and submitted to the Welsh Assembly Government. There's been a question and answer exchange and its optimistically anticipated that Edwina Hart, the responsible Assembly Government Minister (who has shown a genuine commitment to renal disease sufferers during her 'rule') will approve the unit and associated expenditure later in September. Its 'game point' and the ball is in Edwina's court, and we're waiting for her to smash away the winner. I'll crack open a bottle when this battle is won - and kiss the Minister if she's anywhere near! Actually, she's an old friend, so I'd 'mwah' her anyway. Hopefully the unit should be in operation around the end of the year. I'm so looking forward to dropping the word 'hopefully'.
Initially the provision would be a demountable (temporary) building with 8 dialysis machines located on the grassed area to the left as driving up to the hospital car park. The better site, attached to and below the hospital cannot be used because its needed to construct a permanent dialysis unit - for which the process of procurement will begin as soon as the dialysis service begins. And when the permanent building is up, the machines will be moved across and the demountable demounted. And a grand party will be held by all. At least, that's what should happen.