Call goes out to join protest against Withybush Hospital cuts

Western Telegraph: SAVE THE SCBU: Proposals to close the Special Care Baby Unit at Withybush Hospital have sparked protests.  (1211101) SAVE THE SCBU: Proposals to close the Special Care Baby Unit at Withybush Hospital have sparked protests. (1211101)

PEOPLE are being urged to join the fight for the future of services at Withybush Hospital at this Saturday’s (January 4) protest.

Save Withybush Action Team (SWAT) hope at least 1,000 people will join the first in a series of demonstrations at Withybush Hospital.

The fight to retain services – with fears that overnight paediatric, emergency care as well as obstetrics and special care baby services could be lost – has been backed by local Assembly Members Paul Davies and Angela Burns.

SWAT chairman Chris Overton said: “We need to send the message out to the health board and the health minister that Wales doesn’t end in Carmarthen and the people of Pembrokeshire are part of Wales. We should have access to the same services as people in the rest of Wales.

“We need to show, through a good turnout, that we are determined to fight the changes proposed.”

More than 600 people have confirmed they will be attending on Facebook.

“We would like everyone to come really,” Mr Overton added.

“We need you to be there. We need to show the health board and the health minister that they are making the wrong decision.”

Protestors will be denied access to the hospital car park, sparking safety concerns as people are expected to spill over from the grass and pavements onto the roads outside the hospital, Mr Overton said.

“Inbetween now and Saturday, if as many people could phone the health board on 01267 239699 and ask why the health board is not making this a safe protest that would be good,” added Mr Overton.

A Hywel Dda Health Board spokesman said: “The health board has had discussions with the organisers and the police to ensure there is appropriate safe access to our hospital sites for ambulances, patients and visitors and this is our priority. The health board will be working with the police to facilitate this.”

The protest starts at 11am.

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