PLAID Cymru representatives have said they believe lives will be put at risk if plans to close the Welshpool and Caernarfon air ambulance bases are carried out.

In an open letter addressing the proposed closures, ambassadors for Plaid Cymru have argued against the move, saying that the proposal “goes against the wishes of thousands of our constituents”.

Signatories of the letter include members of Parliament and members of the Senedd, as well as a Powys County Councillor.

These are Liz Saville Roberts MP, Hywel Williams MP, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Siân Gwenllian MS, Cefin Campbell MS and Cllr Elwyn Vaughan.

The letter says: “The uncertainty and public anxiety brought about by this proposal has created significant ill feeling and we are very concerned about the long-term effect this will have on the good relationship that has existed between the public and the charity over the years.

As well as questioning the decision to close the base, the Plaid Cymru letter also criticises the consultation process and the data used to reach the decision.

It adds: “There are serious questions to be asked about the transparency of the consultation process, the inconsistency in the messaging coming from the Ambulance Services Commissioner, and why one of the options that was preferred in Phase 2 of the consultation, (maintaining Caernarfon and Welshpool and adding an emergency response vehicle), was ruled out without any explanation.

“We believe that these issues alone are reason enough to prevent the process from going a step further.

“Considering some of the questions about the data being used as a basis for the proposal, it is not unreasonable for people to have serious concerns that we will have a significantly inferior service if the Caernarfon and Welshpool sites are closed.

“We still have not been provided with compelling evidence that would convince us that this won’t lead to a poorer service. We believe that lives will be put at risk if these plans are implemented.

“Given the seriousness of these matters, we implore you as someone who is in an influential position to do everything within your power to speak out against the closure of the Caernarfon and Welshpool bases so that the communities and residents of northwest and mid Wales can continue to benefit from this lifesaving emergency service.”

Following this open letter, a Wales Air Ambulance spokesperson said: "The EMRTS Service Review is being independently led by the Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner for Wales and the Charity, like the public, are stakeholders.

"We are currently reviewing the Commissioner’s recommendation report but from what we have read, we can see that:

  • It is highly likely that people are losing their lives now because we are not reaching all patients. This includes people in Mid and North-West Wales.
  • There is no evidence that lives will be lost – it states that more lives will be saved in all parts of Wales.
  • People in Mid and North-West Wales would receive an enhanced service with the addition of a more localised overnight air ambulance service until 2am.

"With regard to medical feedback, many medics and aviation employees have told the charity that they are supportive of the need for change.

"We would urge all interested members of the public to read the Commissioner’s report in full as the points raised in the open letter are addressed. That way our supporters can make their own informed decision.  

"The charity awaits the conclusion of the Review and the decision from the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee."