In January, it was reported that Belmont Surgery on Main Road in Gilwern could soon close its doors for good, due to the retirement of the site’s doctors. This meant that the Gilwern village could also be left without a GP surgery.
This was met with outrage amongst residents, with one concerned local commenting on what this would mean for ageing patients who (based on the closure) would have to travel far for a simple doctor's appointment.
"if it closes and the only alternative is to go to the main surgery at Crickhowell. This means I will have to get a bus from Clydach (78) to Abergavenny and then wait for a 43/x43 bus to take me from Abergavenny to Crickhowell for any appointment I may have as I don’t drive.
This journey could take two hours or more in total and then I would have to do the same to get home."
However, residents are fighting against the potential closure, with a petition opposing the possibility now being signed by approximately 400 villagers.
Local resident Fay Bromfield, who launched the petition, said: “Once the announcement was made it sent shockwaves through multiple villages as it could potentially effect 3,200 residents, forcing them to travel many miles to access a GP.
“As I said previously, I appreciate doctors are retiring which means the building could be sold, but Powys Health Board and Aneurin Bevan Health Board have a duty of care to residents.
“The fact that 400 people have signed my petition really does speak volume, and I hope the health boards will heed our concerns.”
Peter Fox, the Member of the Senedd for Monmouth, added his support, saying: “The residents of Gilwern and neighbouring villages are rightly concerned by the latest announcement, and the level of anxiety they are facing is unacceptable. That is why it is vital that the health boards keep in regular contact with residents to keep them fully update with any development.
“I will continue to work closely with Fay and residents regarding this deeply troubling situation.”