Public to help draw up plans for new health centre in Newtown
Plans for a new state of the art health and social care facility in Newtown will be drawn up with public input.
It follows an announcement by the Welsh Government in May that £2.5 million of funding has been made available for the project.
Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) and Powys County Council (PCC) say that the ambition is to improve health and well-being for North Powys through a new model of care situated in the middle of Newtown.
Called a 'Rural Regional Centre' it could include rehabilitation services, in-patient beds, enhanced diagnostics and a wide range of other services.
PCC and PTHB is asking for people's views on how to help develop their plans at a launch event in Llanidloes and Newtown on Friday.
Newtown East County Councillor, anti-poverty champion and health campaigner Councillor Joy Jones (non-aligned) said she was delighted with the announcement: "It is wonderful and so exciting to see it all coming together.
"This development has been a long time coming and will bring Newtown's health facilities to an ultra-modern standard.
"It brings much needed health services into the area that will meet people's needs closer to home and will make a huge difference to Newtown and North Powys.
"The preferred site near the town centre will make it much easier to access for all that needs to use it.
"It is really important that everyone attends the consultations so that the plan is what is needed by people living here and not what others think it should be."
Chief executive of PTHB, Carol Shillabeer, said: "Our aim is to reduce the number of visits out of county hospitals to see a specialist by providing services more locally through regional centre.
"Our highest priority is to ensure residents of North Powys have access to the right health and care services at the right time, wherever possible either in their home, or their community through a new model of care.
"This will involve neighbourhood teams working together so that people receive a more seamless, joined up service when they need it."
Education portfolio holder, Councillor Myfanwy Alexander, (Independent – Banwy) said: "By working together, in partnership with the community, we believe that we can create a ground-breaking project which will deliver a range of benefits for people of all ages."
Councillor Alexander believed that having schools close to the centre would be good for families.
The preferred site for the campus is in the centre of Newtown, nearby there are council offices, medical practice and two schools.
Following the launch on Friday, there will be a Welsh language event in Welshpool, followed by a number of 'drop-in events' across Powys for residents to share their views.
Meeting dates and venues will be announced soon.