AT LEAST nine babies have been born before arriving at hospital in Carmarthen since the removal of consultant services at Withybush Hospital, the Western Telegraph has learned.

Figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Western Telegraph show that the births en route, whether in ambulance or private vehicles, have all occurred since 2015.

The changes to maternity services in Pembrokeshire were made in late 2014.

The figures provided were up to date as of February 14 2017, although the Western Telegraph is aware that another baby was born before getting to Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, since then.

Hywel Dda Health Board refused to say how many babies were born en route each year as the figures were five or fewer, posing, it claimed, a risk of identification.

An appeal to this refusal is currently being considered.

In 2015 five or fewer babies were born in an ambulance following “risk assessed transfers from the Midwifery Led Unit at Withybush General Hospital as per the All Wales Midwife Led Care Guidelines”.

The following year, 2016, five or fewer were born in an ambulance and five or fewer were born in car.

The same situation has already occurred in the first two months of this year.

In 2012, 2013 and 2014 there were no births recorded as having happened while being transferred.