NEARLY 1,000 health protestors brought Haverfordwest to a standstill this morning.

The young and the old came to show their anger at Hywel Dda University Health Board plans, backed by health minister Mark Drakeford, to close Withybush Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).

This morning’s demonstration - the latest in a long line of events organised by Save Withybush Action Team (SWAT) – saw traffic stopped as protestors’ marched from County Hall, along Bridge Street and through Prendergast, gathering outside Withybush Hospital.

They came brandishing placards and banners outlining fears about the risk to the lives of mothers and babies, chanting and singing, with whistles and with horns. The message remains unchanged – ‘Hands off Withybush Hospital’.

Under the plans, Pembrokeshire will be served by a midwife-led unit with only the lowest risk births happening in the county and other mothers’ having to travel to Carmarthen.

But there are serious fears about what will happen to women who develop complications suddenly and have no access to consultant obstetricians.

SWAT chairman Chris Overton said: “This is about letting them know we are still here. The message is that they are doing a dangerous thing. In 15 weeks time pregnant women and babies will be at risk.”

He added: “The whole thing is a farce.”

SWAT is holding another protest at the Senedd in Cardiff on Wednesday, June 18. Pictures to follow and much more in this week’s Western Telegraph.