ASSURANCES are being sought that Withybush Hospital and its services are not being 'eroded by stealth'.

Twenty-six county councillors have submitted a notice of motion calling for Pembrokeshire County Council to seek assurances to that effect from the Welsh Government.

The move comes after a recent report by the Royal College of Physicians called for the establishment of a specialist cardiac 'hub' at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, meaning services at Withybush in Haverfordwest could be reduced.

It is the latest in a long line of concerns about the loss of various services at the hospital, including the special care baby unit, obstetrics and overnight paediatric in-patient care, and the impact on other areas such as A&E.

The councillors' motion states: "This council considers the implications of the recent report by the Royal College of Physicians... as further evidence that the need to strengthen services at Withybush is being ignored, and requests that the Welsh Government provides urgent assurance that health services in Pembrokeshire are not being eroded by stealth."

In its review, the Royal College examined services at Withybush, Glangwili, Bronglais in Aberystwyth and Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

It found that 'more efficient working practices and a better standard of care with the probability of improved outcomes and better patient experience' could be achieved from the use of a 'hub and spoke' model with Glangwili as the hub.

In a report to councillors ahead of Thursday's extraordinary meeting of the full council, when the notice of motion will be discussed, Pembrokeshire County Council assistant chief executive Ben Pykett, said the recommendations arising from the review 'appear to be consistent' with proposals relating to other services offered by Hywel Dda University Health Board.

"In a number of instances, the apparent difficulty of delivering a consistent services across several hospital sites has been cited as the driver for service consolidation at a single point," he said.

"Members should not that, at the time the media reports were issued, the health board confirmed that no decisions had been made in relation to the recommendations arising from the review, and that the review had not identified any parts of the service that were, at that time, unsafe."