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Pre-election approval needed for health programme

Created on 23/10/2020 @ 07:17
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Receiving ministerial approval for the North Powys Wellbeing Programme before the Welsh Parliament election is key to driving the project forward, health bosses have been told.

Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council are working together on the programme.

At the Powys Teaching Health Board meeting on Thursday members approved the business case for the project which will now be submitted to the Welsh Government.

Board members were told that the PCC cabinet had approved the business case at their meeting.

They had discussed it first as PCC own The Park area of Newtown which has been confirmed as the site for developing the campus.

There, it is hoped that several facilities will be built to bring health, social care, education, voluntary sector and even housing together in one place.

PTHB Chief Executive Carol Shillabeer said the development was a response to views of hundreds of people taken as far back as 2016, when an integrated strategy on health and care was discussed.

Ms Shillabeer said: “We heard the views of hundreds of people from our communities across Powys.

“People talked about joined up care, and wanting us to do as much as we could closer to home.

“They wanted us to focus on health and not ill health.

“I hope this speaks to the ambitions that the communities have for themselves and each other.”

She then pointed out the challenges of turning the vision into reality.

Ms Shillabeer added: “Clearly we are coming to the end of this political term and the election for the Welsh Parliament will take place in May, as far as we’re aware.

“It will be really key to get this programme business case in front of ministers for sign off.”

Ms Shillabeer told board members that Welsh Government First Minister, Mark Drakeford, had spoken in support of programme at the Senedd.

“What we need to do is translate that support into sign off,  then we can motor forward to the next stage,” said Mrs Shillabeer.

Board Chairman, Professor Vivienne  Harpwood, said: “It’s an encouraging example of collaborative working.”

In May 2019, the Welsh Government announced that £2.5 million of funding has been made available to start the project.

Options being considered include a new-build school, health and care centre, library and specialist housing.

And depending on their size, they could cost anywhere between £64 million and £83 million.

It is hoped the facilities would be open by the end of 2025 or early 2026.



By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service



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