'Worry' as Machynlleth Bro Ddyfi hospital upgrade delayed
Delays upgrading a Powys community hospital have prompted concerns over whether or not the plans will go ahead.
Planning officers gave approval for a £7.8m upgrade of Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital in March.
Powys Teaching Health Board said work continues but first the building, in Machynlleth, urgently needed repair or parts could become un-operational.
Town mayor Monica Atkins says this has caused worry locally over the knock-on effects of any delays.
She said the plans have been discussed since she first became a councillor seven years ago.
"Why is it taking so long? It's been a long drawn out process between funding, planning, going back to planning again," she said.
"Care in the community is vital, to have that care close to home, it makes a huge difference. Other services are lost locally, but health care has to be prioritised.
"There's huge worry here, people are starting to think that it'll never happen. How much longer do we have to wait?"
The hospital was due to get three new extensions - one of them to replace existing buildings - by 2021.
But supporters of the plans are worried the repairs will push this timeline back, and affect the budget.
The hospital already provides services such as mental health and midwifery, but under the plans would expand to create a community hub delivering a wider range of healthcare including general medical, ambulatory and outpatient services.
The health board said new timelines, and budgets, will be announced by the end of the year, and it has prepared an outline business case for the repair work.
The investment for Machynlleth forms part of a £68m programme to provide 19 new integrated health and care centres around Wales.
The Welsh Government hopes more care can be given to patients within their communities.
The health board said: "This scheme will deliver major improvements to the facilities at the hospital."