Mass turnout in protest at SCBU decision

Western Telegraph: PICTURE: Pembrokeshire Photography. PICTURE: Pembrokeshire Photography.

MORE than a 1,000 people from across the county came to send a message to the Health Minister today - 'Save Withybush hospital SCBU'.

Young and old braved what began as a wet and windy morning to show their anger at Hywel Dda University Health Board plans, backed this week by health minister Mark Drakeford, to close the special care baby unit.

Pembrokeshire's mothers would be served by a midwife led unit with only the lowest risk births happening in the county but there are serious fears about what will happen to women who develop complications suddenly and have no access to consultant obstetricians.

Many highlighted the fact that the main road out of Pembrokeshire was closed for the majority of the day yesterday following fatal traffic accident.

Haverfordwest resident Barry Barnard added: "It's very important for the future for the children of the county and the future of everybody. We don't have enough ambulances to cover the area and the road was blocked yesterday - they talk about the golden hour but there's no way you're going to get to Carmarthen in that time with the limited ambulances we have and the road network."

The protesters marched from the county archives building to Withybush Hospital where the impressive crowd gathered with placards and banners clearly outlining the fears of residents that the lives of women and babies would be at risk if a level 2 neonatal unit was developed at Carmarthen as a replacement for the current unit.

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said: "There is an enormous sense of anger amongst the crowd, people from all walks of life, all across the county, voicing their frustration and their fears of what the future will look like without the essential service of SCBU on our doorstep."

Campaigners from SWAT are now planning a demonstration at the Senedd in Cardiff on March 5 and are calling for as many people as possible to join them.

Chairman Chris Overton said: "We really need a big turnout on the 5th of March and want people to make that big effort."

Buses are being organised for the trip and SWAT is looking for sponsorship to help support it.

South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart also attended as well as AM Paul Davies who called the minister's announcement a 'bitter blow for Pembrokeshire'.

"It's remarkable so many people have turned up again and will keeping turning up. If I was Mark Drakeford and the Welsh Government, you've got to ask yourself the question, are you working in the best interest of the community? It's quite clear from the strength of feeling that they are not,@ said Mr Hart.

Mum of five Katie Jones, from Tenby, said she had felt it was important to attend as without SCBU she would be too scared to have another baby.

"I breezed through pregnancy and have been in the position where something went wrong and they saved my life but they've taken that option away from me. I wouldn't want to risk it again because I would leave five children."

For more see this week's Western Telegraph

*Tell us what you think of the Health Minister's decision. Contact us at wtnews@westerntelegraph.co.uk

Send your news, pictures & videos Send your news, pictures & videos Send your news, pictures & videos

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:41pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Gogledd says...

Good for them...but I feel that they are wasting their breath...we should stop giving billions of Aid to countries who dont need it and start to look after our own people...sorry but its how I feel when the govt whether it be in Westminster of the WG start going on about cuts...we gave what is it? something like 250 BILLION in aid...last year...thats rediculous...we should wake up..
Good for them...but I feel that they are wasting their breath...we should stop giving billions of Aid to countries who dont need it and start to look after our own people...sorry but its how I feel when the govt whether it be in Westminster of the WG start going on about cuts...we gave what is it? something like 250 BILLION in aid...last year...thats rediculous...we should wake up.. Gogledd

2:19pm Sun 26 Jan 14

ladybench says...

You have to blame the Labour lead sennet for this appalling mess
You have to blame the Labour lead sennet for this appalling mess ladybench

2:31pm Sun 26 Jan 14

PembsDemocrat says...

Why are there no photos from the protest appearing on this article?

Has it got something to do with the HUNDREDS of people who were there holding up their PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD posters which came inside this week's newspaper??!!
Why are there no photos from the protest appearing on this article? Has it got something to do with the HUNDREDS of people who were there holding up their PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD posters which came inside this week's newspaper??!! PembsDemocrat

4:33pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Harrygrayballs says...

@PembsDemocrat.Well spotted............h
ave a look on the BBC website........
...........UKIP too unless my eyes deceive me!!!!!
@PembsDemocrat.Well spotted............h ave a look on the BBC website........ ...........UKIP too unless my eyes deceive me!!!!! Harrygrayballs

4:49pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Twm Carnabwth says...

I am a Pembrokeshire County Council employee who has decided to go underground for the purposes of this post for reasons I am sure you will appreciate. Nevertheless I do follow this group using my own name.
I was unable to attend the march today due to illness, however, I had planned to be present to express my concerns, anger etc. etc.
I understand that there will be a protest held in the future in Cardiff. And presumably further protests locally?
Now, to my point.
As we are well aware, there are 60 ELECTED COUNTY COUNCILLORS representing the residents of Pembrokeshire. Does anybody know how many were PROTESTING today? How many are PLANNING on ATTENDING future PROTESTS?
The future of WITHYBUSH GENERAL HOSPITAL is an issue which SHOULD BE OF CONERN TO EVERY COUNTY COUNCILLOR.
It would be a small, but brave and significant gesture if somebody from every ward within the county contacted their COUNTY COUNCILLOR, that is their ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE, inviting them to attend these protests; possibly offering them a lift to the protest; or a lift to the bus collection points for the Cardiff protest; or even offering to pay for their seat on the bus and maybe contributing towards their lunch. Let us make it DIFFICULT FOR OUR COUNTY COUNCILLORS TO SAY NO. If they are unable to attend DUE TO AN ALREADY ARRANGED COUNCIL MEETING suggest to them that it may help other attendees to re-schedule SO THAT THEY TOO CAN ATTEND THE PROTEST. IT IS NOT DIFFICULT TO RE-ARRANGE A MEETING, IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, it is, however, difficult to RE-OPEN A CLOSED HOSPITAL.
Let’s get our County Council there with us, among us, representing us. ENCOURAGE them into attendance, CAJOLE them into attendance, CONVINCE them into attendance, DEBATE WITH THEM into attendance, EXPLAIN TO THEM why they should attend, FORCE THEM TO LISTEN, FORCE THEM TO ACT.
Contact details of YOUR elected County representative can be found on the following link:-
http://mgenglish.pem
brokeshire.gov.uk/mg
CommitteeMailingList
.aspx?ID=0&LLL=0
As the name suggests, they are there to represent US, let us make it easier for them to do this. (And by offering them the lifts, paying for their seat on the bus etc., means less expense claims etc. to be met from our Council tax contributions). It is also worth remembering that there IS A COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTION IN 2016. AT A COUNTY LEVEL, THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE, this is something that the COUNTY COUNCIL NEEDS TO UNITE AND ACT ON. It will be interesting to see WHICH COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES WILL LISTEN, not just to their constituents BUT ALSO to the residents of Pembrokeshire as a whole.
Every community is also represented by COMMUNITY COUNCILLORS (otherwise TOWN COUNCILLORS, PARISH COUNCILLORS, CITY COUNCILLORS). I suggest that the same hand of friendship is handed out to them, so that they too may further fulfil their role of REPRESENTING THEIR COMMUNITIES.
Contact details for the clerks to the City, Town and Community councils can be found on the following link:-
http://mgenglish.pem
brokeshire.gov.uk/mg
ParishCouncilDetails
List.aspx?LLL=0
The clerks will be able to provide you with the appropriate contact details of YOUR elected COMMUNITY representative
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE copy and share comment, spread the word. Let us have our elected representatives represent us, stand strong and tall with us, the people of Pembrokeshire.
Twm Carnabwth Bach,
“And they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her, ‘Thou art our sister; be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gates of Thy enemies.’”
I am a Pembrokeshire County Council employee who has decided to go underground for the purposes of this post for reasons I am sure you will appreciate. Nevertheless I do follow this group using my own name. I was unable to attend the march today due to illness, however, I had planned to be present to express my concerns, anger etc. etc. I understand that there will be a protest held in the future in Cardiff. And presumably further protests locally? Now, to my point. As we are well aware, there are 60 ELECTED COUNTY COUNCILLORS representing the residents of Pembrokeshire. Does anybody know how many were PROTESTING today? How many are PLANNING on ATTENDING future PROTESTS? The future of WITHYBUSH GENERAL HOSPITAL is an issue which SHOULD BE OF CONERN TO EVERY COUNTY COUNCILLOR. It would be a small, but brave and significant gesture if somebody from every ward within the county contacted their COUNTY COUNCILLOR, that is their ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE, inviting them to attend these protests; possibly offering them a lift to the protest; or a lift to the bus collection points for the Cardiff protest; or even offering to pay for their seat on the bus and maybe contributing towards their lunch. Let us make it DIFFICULT FOR OUR COUNTY COUNCILLORS TO SAY NO. If they are unable to attend DUE TO AN ALREADY ARRANGED COUNCIL MEETING suggest to them that it may help other attendees to re-schedule SO THAT THEY TOO CAN ATTEND THE PROTEST. IT IS NOT DIFFICULT TO RE-ARRANGE A MEETING, IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, it is, however, difficult to RE-OPEN A CLOSED HOSPITAL. Let’s get our County Council there with us, among us, representing us. ENCOURAGE them into attendance, CAJOLE them into attendance, CONVINCE them into attendance, DEBATE WITH THEM into attendance, EXPLAIN TO THEM why they should attend, FORCE THEM TO LISTEN, FORCE THEM TO ACT. Contact details of YOUR elected County representative can be found on the following link:- http://mgenglish.pem brokeshire.gov.uk/mg CommitteeMailingList .aspx?ID=0&LLL=0 As the name suggests, they are there to represent US, let us make it easier for them to do this. (And by offering them the lifts, paying for their seat on the bus etc., means less expense claims etc. to be met from our Council tax contributions). It is also worth remembering that there IS A COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTION IN 2016. AT A COUNTY LEVEL, THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE, this is something that the COUNTY COUNCIL NEEDS TO UNITE AND ACT ON. It will be interesting to see WHICH COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES WILL LISTEN, not just to their constituents BUT ALSO to the residents of Pembrokeshire as a whole. Every community is also represented by COMMUNITY COUNCILLORS (otherwise TOWN COUNCILLORS, PARISH COUNCILLORS, CITY COUNCILLORS). I suggest that the same hand of friendship is handed out to them, so that they too may further fulfil their role of REPRESENTING THEIR COMMUNITIES. Contact details for the clerks to the City, Town and Community councils can be found on the following link:- http://mgenglish.pem brokeshire.gov.uk/mg ParishCouncilDetails List.aspx?LLL=0 The clerks will be able to provide you with the appropriate contact details of YOUR elected COMMUNITY representative PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE copy and share comment, spread the word. Let us have our elected representatives represent us, stand strong and tall with us, the people of Pembrokeshire. Twm Carnabwth Bach, “And they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her, ‘Thou art our sister; be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gates of Thy enemies.’” Twm Carnabwth

4:52pm Sun 26 Jan 14

South of the Landsker says...

Gogledd, I hope we were not wasting our breath, I hope we can always be compassionate to others overseas as long as we monitor where the money is spent. Figures suggest between £11 and £12 Billion of overseas aid in 2014. We are a rich country, the fault lays with Westminster and Cardiff. We loose out in Pembrokeshire from being blue in a sea of red.
Nothing was ever changed by sitting at home - complaining but doing nothing.
Gogledd, I hope we were not wasting our breath, I hope we can always be compassionate to others overseas as long as we monitor where the money is spent. Figures suggest between £11 and £12 Billion of overseas aid in 2014. We are a rich country, the fault lays with Westminster and Cardiff. We loose out in Pembrokeshire from being blue in a sea of red. Nothing was ever changed by sitting at home - complaining but doing nothing. South of the Landsker

4:57pm Sun 26 Jan 14

South of the Landsker says...

Twm Carnabwth, I was also on the lookout for County Councillors and think I spotted five in the very large crowd, I may be mistaken but it was about 10%.
Twm Carnabwth, I was also on the lookout for County Councillors and think I spotted five in the very large crowd, I may be mistaken but it was about 10%. South of the Landsker

5:24pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Twm Carnabwth says...

South of the Landsker wrote:
Twm Carnabwth, I was also on the lookout for County Councillors and think I spotted five in the very large crowd, I may be mistaken but it was about 10%.
Respect where it is due to the 10%, its the remaining 90% that need contacting, offered lifts etc. to the protests, lets make it easier for them to attend and difficult not to!
[quote][p][bold]South of the Landsker[/bold] wrote: Twm Carnabwth, I was also on the lookout for County Councillors and think I spotted five in the very large crowd, I may be mistaken but it was about 10%.[/p][/quote]Respect where it is due to the 10%, its the remaining 90% that need contacting, offered lifts etc. to the protests, lets make it easier for them to attend and difficult not to! Twm Carnabwth

10:55am Sat 1 Feb 14

slebech says...

We're is crab so called mp in this ,is he fighting for our county is he there looking after what's ours,is he showing support, no is he #%+?)'
He is in his comfortable home getting his extra 7500 pounds the UK government's given its self just this week , watching our hospital who say the can't afford to keep things as UK needs to make cut backs, so we have to forgo our hospital but crap and the rest of the con's get a pay rise, and let me remind you they also get morgage,hearing,elec
tric, water,food, and expenses payed for,how many hospitals or benefits that people needed would that have payed for, who's conning who here, time the con's went!
We're is crab so called mp in this ,is he fighting for our county is he there looking after what's ours,is he showing support, no is he #%+?)' He is in his comfortable home getting his extra 7500 pounds the UK government's given its self just this week , watching our hospital who say the can't afford to keep things as UK needs to make cut backs, so we have to forgo our hospital but crap and the rest of the con's get a pay rise, and let me remind you they also get morgage,hearing,elec tric, water,food, and expenses payed for,how many hospitals or benefits that people needed would that have payed for, who's conning who here, time the con's went! slebech

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree