MP Liz Saville Roberts has spoken of her anger over a report from the Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner for Wales recommending the closure of Caernarfon and Welshpool Air Ambulance bases.

The MP’s anger is palpable in the video above sent to the Cambrian News.

A joint statement from Mrs Saville Roberts MP and Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said: “This is a disgraceful and short-sighted decision which will have far reaching implications for the safety of people across northwest and mid Wales, not to mention the reputational damage it will inevitably cause the charity.

“People have donated thousands of pounds to the Wales Air Ambulance on the understanding that it provides a timely emergency medical response to communities across northwest and mid Wales.

“This decision is a backwards step in the delivery of emergency medical care across our rural communities - driven by questionable data and a flawed consultation process.

Liz Saville Roberts MP and Mabon ap Gwynfor MS with Air Ambulance campaigners Andy O'Regan and Dilys Williams in Tywyn
Liz Saville Roberts MP and Mabon ap Gwynfor MS with Air Ambulance campaigners Andy O'Regan and Dilys Williams in Tywyn (Picture supplied)

“The Welsh Labour Government had the ability and ample opportunity to influence and to intervene in this process but chose to say nothing.

“There has been no recognition of the real concerns expressed by our constituents and no representation has been made by government to ensure that the Wales Air Ambulance continues to serve all parts of the country equally.

“Plaid Cymru's call to keep both bases in Caernarfon and Welshpool open and introduce an RRV (Rapid Response Vehicle) in the northeast was accepted in Phase 2 of the consultation as one of the best options for the long-term future of the service.

“The Air Ambulance is the difference between life and death in many rural areas across Wales such as Meirionnydd, Pen Llyn, the north of Ceredigion, Ynys Mon, and Maldwyn - in areas already compromised by lengthy ambulance wait times.

“The service offered by both Caernarfon and Welshpool Air Ambulance bases are vital and it is immensely regrettable that rural Wales looks set to suffer the consequences of a centralised base in north-east Wales.

“Every option must now be explored by campaigners to challenge this decision, including the possibility of a judicial review.”

Montgomeryshire politicians are calling for the recommendation to be rejected.

Air ambulance
Craig WIlliams and Russell George are calling for the recommendation to be rejected (Welsh Conservatives)

Russell George MS and Craig Williams MP say the Welshpool base offers critical rapid response coverage for rural Mid Wales, helping people in urgent need to get potentially life-saving medical care in emergencies.

The formal engagement process found a swathe of concerns from local people about the proposed closure, alongside that of Caernarfon's base, including on response times and compromised care.

Over the next few days, individual regional health boards will give their own views. After this, these findings will be formally reviewed and agreed by the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee, covering all of Wales.

Russell George MS said: "This is appalling news. Welshpool's base has saved countless lives.

"Given we don’t have a District General Hospital in Powys, it is all the more important that we continue to have an air ambulance base in Mid Wales."

"I am calling on individual regions like Powys Teaching Health Board, who will have the final to reject the recommendation which clearly does not have the support of the of the public in Mid Wales."

"In the latest round of engagement, 66 per cent of responses came from Powys. That is an impassioned cry from Mid Wales about the importance of this service."

Craig Williams MP commented: "Local campaigning has been very strong and I am extremely proud of the way that our communities have united to support this vital lifeline for our area. The people of Mid Wales have donated and fundraised for the air ambulance for many years precisely because they know how important it is."

“Ever since the plans to close Welshpool’s base were haphazardly leaked out in August 2022, the ensuing consultation and engagement process has been extremely poor.”

"The people of Mid Wales will rightfully question whether this was a done deal from the start."