Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services
www.nhsfuturefit.org While at the hospital, staff spoke about the consultation by NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group about proposed changes to services at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Shrewsbury and the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, both of which serve Powys patients. Staff updated me on efforts they are undertaking to encourage Powys residents to respond to the consultation. More information on the proposed changes and how to respond is available on:
I had an opportunity to speak to a wide range of staff who were involved in the clean up process. This included porters, administration and support staff, domestic services as well as frontline health staff. I also met members of the catering team whose kitchens were badly affected, but despite this were busy during the clean up keeping patients, staff and volunteers fed throughout.
The response to the floods shows the commitment of staff and the community to the hospital.
Following repairs to the minor injuries unit, the service moved back to its usual premises on 6 June which also meant that the Birth Centre was once again fully operational at Welshpool Hospital by the time of my visit.
I heard during my visit that this was due to a wide range of staff coming in to the hospital on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday during their days off.
I was impressed to hear that the hospital remained operational throughout and that most services were back to normal by the Tuesday morning after the floods.
I spoke to staff that were on duty and those who came in to help. In addition to support from the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the local authority, members of the community attended to offer support. It was good to hear that local businesses helped out too.
The main hospital ward, which was full of patients at the time, remained in operation throughout due to quick thinking staff who prevented flood water from entering the ward.
This included temporarily relocating services from the birth centre, which was not in use at the time, to Newtown Hospital so that 24-hour minor injuries services could move into this unit and continue to be available in Welshpool.
At its worst, the reception, kitchen, minor injuries unit, outpatient department, radiology and GP out-of-hours were affected but alternative arrangements were put in place quickly to ensure access to services.
I visited the hospital last Thursday (7 June) to thank staff and the community for their hard work in swiftly responding to the floods which meant minimal disruption for patients and services.
I am writing to update AMs on the flooding at Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welshpool resulting from the flash floods on Sunday, 27 May after heavy rain.
During my visit, I also took the opportunity to meet staff at the renal dialysis unit. Staff there had been concerned about a competitive tendering process being run by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – which runs the unit – and supported by the Welsh Renal Clinical Network. I was pleased to meet staff to hear about their unit. They explained how much they enjoy working there and caring for their patients and how important working for the NHS was for them. I made clear to staff that neither I nor the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board support the transfer of staff between the NHS and independent renal service providers.