The air-ambulance is currently based at Welshpool Airport, nearly the central point of Powys which is 120 miles from top to bottom.
There are no major A&E receiving hospitals , the nearest ones being Shrewsbury, Telford, and Wrexham.
Ambulances are limited, and when there is an accident or serious illness that requires transport to hospital, it means a long journey by road, and another long journey for the ambulance to return to its area.
With ambulances waiting HOURS at these hospitals to hand-over their patients, this often means that ALL ambulances are away from the area, and unable to provide the life-saving help when required, and sick or injured people in Powys can wait many hours before an ambulance is free.
After a stroke or heart attack, it is vital that a patient is transported to hospital and seen by a specialist within an hour to stand a chance of survival.
With such limited numbers of ambulances, and the distances needed to travel to and from a suitable hospital, this can only happen in Mid-Wales with the use of the helicopter, and only if it is based nearby to start with.
There are endless stories of residents waiting many hours for an ambulance, it is not the ambulance's fault, nor that of the ambulance service, it is the delays within the hospitals in taking the patients and releasing the ambulances.
Even today (19th Aug 2022) the local news carries the story of an elderly woman who fell and seriously broke her leg, who was forced to lay outside on a garden path waiting for an ambulance
FOR OVER 10 HOURS!
This map shows the location of all the major hospitals of Wales, and how these services are spread around the outside edges, with no provision in the centre.
Due to the difficult road network, land based ambulances normally cross over the border into England to access the Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals.
There are currently 3 Air-Ambulances in Wales, one in the south, one in the north, and one centrally located in Welshpool which is almost the centre of Powys.
To move it to join the other in the north, it would leave a massive area without rapid coverage.
For anyone injured or ill in Powys that need more urgent transportation to hospital without long bumpy journeys by road, will have to wait for the Air-Ambulance to first fly down to Powys from the north, then fly the patient out to the receiving hospital, reducing the possibilities of achieving 'The Golden Hour'.
I am an ex Ambulanceman myself, I know how hard it can be to be everywhere at once with limited resources.
I have now had several Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA's) or 'Mini-Strokes.
The last one happened early in the morning, and I contacted the GP surgery just before 9am, who told me to be ready as they were sending an ambulance right away.
Despite many phone calls to the ambulance service to find out what delay there was, an ambulance finally turned up at my home around 9.30pm. Over 12 hours later!
I was one of the lucky ones, I SURVIVED!
I came out of it with minimal long-term issues, not everyone is as lucky!.
The reasons behind the excessive wait, 12 times the golden hour?
All the ambulances from Welshpool, Llanfyllin, Newtown, were stuck in Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals waiting to unload previous patients.
The worrying thing is, I was not the only one, this happens almost daily!
Let's bombard our counsellors, MP's, and the Government and let them know they are doing wrong!
Sign the petition today!