Bronglais Hospital: AM calls for consultation process extension
An assembly member is urging a health board to extend its consultation over the future of services at a hospital to include parts of his constituency.
Hundreds of patients in north west Powys use Aberystwyth's Bronglais Hospital in neighbouring Ceredigion.
But Montgomeryshire AM Russell George said none of Hywel Dda Health Board's "listening sessions" were taking place in his constituency.
The board said it was working with health officials from other areas.
Conservative AM Mr George's request follows a public meeting about Bronglais in Aberystwyth on 10 February, which was attended by nearly 550 people.
Members of the public, hospital staff and politicians supported a motion to reject Hywel Dda Health Board's plans.
Concerns have been raised by patients and senior staff at Bronglais that services could be moved to Ysbyty Glangwili in Carmarthen.
End Quote Russell George AM Montgomeryshire
Patients in the west of the county, rely on the vital services that Bronglais Hospital provides”
The health board has said "absolutely no decisions have yet been made," but "that no change is not an option".
Mr George, who was at the meeting, said Hywel Dda was allowing people to have their say about the future of services at a series of stakeholder listening sessions.
But he said no sessions were taking place in Montgomeryshire, "potentially marginalising" a large group of people.
"Patients in the west of the county, rely on the vital services that Bronglais Hospital provides," Mr George said.
"Yet at present, there is not one session due to be staged in Montgomeryshire, which is excluding and alienating thousands of people.'Concerns'
"That is why I am calling on Hywel Dda Health Board to not only extend the time period that these exercises are due to take place but to also include at least two sessions in Montgomeryshire - in Machynlleth and Llanidloes - to allow my constituents a say in what they want to see from future local health services in the region."
A health board spokeswoman said it recognised that Bronglais provided care for many living on the Gwynedd and Powys borders.
"However, where people in Powys and Gwynedd receive their health care is the remit of the health board in which they live," said the spokeswoman.
"We fully acknowledge the concerns of all residents who access Bronglais Hospital and we are taking account of their views and we are working with both Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Powys Health Board to engage with their populations who use our services."