The Welsh Government has claimed that data about the Welsh Air Ambulance service is not suitable for publication.

Lesley Griffiths MS, The Welsh Governments Business Manager, said that data regarding the service is confidential as it may contain commercially sensitive information.

This comes as the proposal to relocate the Welshpool air ambulance base was challenged in the Senedd by Russell George, MS for Montgomeryshire.

“I had already challenged the First Minister on the Welsh Governments involvement with the proposals, given the involvement of the Welsh NHS,” said Mr George.

“I also asked the First Minister if he would publish the data and modelling that led to the proposals being brought forward.

“In August, the Wales Air Ambulance Trust told me that they wanted to be open and transparent and publish the data and modelling that underpins the proposals and that they expected to publish it before the end of September.

“On the 20th of September, I asked the First Minister to publish the data and modelling, he said that the data didn’t belong to the Welsh Government, that it belonged to the Air Ambulance Charity.

“The Air Ambulance Charity has said that the data does not belong to them, it belongs to the service within the Welsh NHS. I’m uncertain why the data in question would involve mention of individuals, and why, any commercially sensitive information is relevant to the data and modelling that we are all keen to scrutinise.

“I now await clarification from the First Minister, there is clearly huge doubt about why the data and modelling has not yet been published.”

However, despite the Montgomeryshire MS pushing for the data to be released, Mrs Griffiths claims that the data is too difficult to scrutinize without leaking information regarding the individuals involved.

“So, you asked for two areas to be looked at. I will certainly speak to the First Minister’s officer to ensure that you do get a response to the letter you wrote to him last month,” said Mrs Griffiths.

“In relation to the data, my understanding is the data isn’t suitable for publication, because, if it was published, it could enable identification of individuals, and obviously that would be a matter of concern for many people.

“I think it also contains commercially sensitive information, and, clearly, that would be very difficult to interpret without context.”