Carol Service Demo On Health Cuts

An action group has staged a Christmas carol service outside a hospital as part of a campaign against plans to cut services there. More than 400 people, along with local MPs and AMs, took part in the “keeping the flame alive” event in Builth Wells on Saturday. An action group has been set up to fight plans by Powys Local Health Board (LHB) as it faces a £3.5m deficit.

The LHB has said buildings are outdated and patients deserved better. The board has proposed cuts at Llanidloes, Knighton, Bronllys and Builth Wells.

Last month nearly 500 people attended a public meeting in the town. But Builth Against Closing Hospitals (Bach) action group has said the cuts would lead to the hospital’s closure.

Bach’s chairman Jonathan Morgan said: “Our hospital is 109 years old and there’s a real sense in the community that it means something to people. There’s certainly a lot of strong feelings towards it and that’s why we’ve called the service keeping the flame alive.”

The action group has started a fighting fund to save the hospital as well and it has also begun a petition.

In October, up to 1,000 people formed a human ring in the “hands around Llanidloes hospital” demonstration. In September, about 800 people turned out at a meeting in the town in a show of concern.

At Llanidloes, the LHB plans to cut 18 beds, close an X-ray unit, a birthing centre and outpatient services.

Bronllys, near Brecon, and Knighton could lose GP beds and maternity services, while 12 GP beds, outpatient and X-ray services could be cut at Builth Wells.