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Committee approves Air Ambulance base closures

The NHS Wales Joint Commissioning Committee has today approved a recommendation to close the Welshpool and Caernarfon bases and create a single site in North Wales.

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The NHS Wales Joint Commissioning Committee has today approved a recommendation to close the Welshpool and Caernarfon bases and create a single site in North Wales.

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In a meeting held today by the NHS Wales Joint Commissioning Committee (JCC), the Committee has approved the recommendation from Stephen Harrhy, the Director of Commissioning for Ambulance and 111 in Wales.

The representative from Powys Teaching Health Board, the Chief Executive, Hayley Thomas, voted against the proposal.


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The recommendation would implement Option A of the EMRTS Service Review, which is:

  • Reduce bases from 4 to 3, keep 4 teams - close Welshpool and Caernarfon and open new merged base in North Central Wales near A55 running two teams one from 8am-8pm & one from 2pm-2am.

The review comes after two years of discussions and three phases of consultations regarding the plans.

The Committee also approved a recommendation to develop a proposal for "bespoke road based enhanced and / or critical care services in rural and remote areas to enhance the core service model".

In developing this proposal, the Ambulance and 111 Commissioning Team will establish a Task and Finish Group to further refine and develop the approach and to deliver a detailed implementation plan by the end of September 2024.

According to the report, the Group will work in partnership with Health Boards and Llais and other key stakeholders and report to the JCC in October 2024.

The review has sparked outrage among residents in Mid Wales who fear that it will result in longer emergency response times in rural areas. In light of the potential changes, many residents have taken action by either halting their direct debits to the air ambulance charity or contemplating discontinuing their donations altogether.

No changes are expected to take place before 2026 due to existing leases at airports.

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