A respected Pembrokeshire GP has urged his former employers to build a hospital in the county under a new 'fourth option' for future healthcare - or face potential civil unrest.

Last week Hywel Dda University Health Board set out its three proposals for 'Our Big NHS Change'.

All three proposals downgrade Withybush from a general to a community hospital - meaning the Haverfordwest hospital would lose its £10m A&E and paediatrics service, with other services likely to be lost.

But Dr Roger Burns, who retired after a long career as a GP and GP trainer, has now written to Health Board Chief Executive Steve Moore and Health Secretary Vaughan Gething, urging them to consider a fourth option.

Dr Burns wrote: "The three suggestions currently put forward by the Hywel Dda board exclude an important 4th option. This is for Hywel Dda to combine with Abertowe Bro Morgannwg as one University Trust Board, and a new Hospital to be built in Pembrokeshire.

"This option is only within the gift of the WG in Cardiff.

"The resulting population would be larger and give improved choice to patients.

"At a time of severe under capacity, the junior doctor recruitment issue could be addressed by rotating posts within the new trust. Larger teams of consultants would take their turn in peripheral clinics and operating suites.

"The new build should be in Pembrokeshire and has to include treatments which address the large numbers of elderly people in the future. Radiotherapy, cardiovascular services (including stent), and all the other acute services and technologies that encourage doctors to apply for jobs.

"Carmarthen and Llanelli already have speedy access to Swansea. Roads westward will need to be improved and Carmarthenshire may then be tempted to use the new facility.

"The threat to Pembrokeshire from removing the DGH (District General Hospital) is bigger than it is for anywhere else in the area, apart from Aberystwyth, which has a guaranteed facility.

"There could be a large emigration of people, and a real possibility of civil unrest."

In 2012 Dr Burns was awarded a chairman's commendation by Hywel Dda Health Board for his commitment and passion towards the professional development and training of GPs within Pembrokeshire.

A petition against the removal of the A&E from Withybush has now amassed more than 16,000 signatures.

Sign the petition here

The Hywel Dda Health Board consultation and questionnaire is here