HYWEL Dda has refuted claims made on social media that ambulances are being turned away from Withybush Hospital

A Facebook post made by the Save Withybush Action Team (SWAT) today claimed that ambulances have been turned away from the hospital over the last two days, and are being sent to Glangwili or further afield to Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

"Withybush has been closed to ambulances for the past two days, it is full to capacity and cannot take ambulance patients as there is nowhere for them to go," the post said, adding Glangwili was experiencing similar pressures.

"All Pembrokeshire ambulance patients have had to go to Prince Philip hospital in Llanelli which is now struggling to cope with the extra pressures and does not have the facilities to deal with all cases as it’s A&E is limited."

Western Telegraph:

The anonymous statement published on Facebook by the Save Withybush Action Team.

The post is said to have come from information supplied by an anonymous source with close links to the ambulance service.

But Hywel Dda has strongly refuted the claims, saying they have caused "significant distress" for members of staff in the hospital's clinical workforce.

Joe Teape, Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive at Hywel Dda, confirmed some patients had been diverted to Glangwili and Prince Philip during the last few days as a result of pressure on services at Withybush.

But he added the health board wanted to "set the record straight."

“As is commonplace at this time of the year we are experiencing pressures at some of our acute hospital sites, and in line with our usual escalation procedures a small number of appropriate patients have been diverted to Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals to ensure that we can accommodate our patients safely," said Mr Teape.

"The same protocol is followed when patients need to be diverted to Withybush from other hospitals.

“The health board has a responsibility to ensure that we deliver services which are clinically safe and put patients at the heart of everything that we do. 

"Through joint working with internal and external partners, including our colleagues at WAST, the position has now improved and no diverts are currently in place.

"We would like to thank all of our staff and external colleagues for their support and hard work over this busy period.”

But a Pembrokeshire healthcare campaigner has questioned Hywel Dda's statement for mentioning pressures at this time of year.

David Williams said it would be unusual for the acute pressures of winter to have started in September.

"All the holidaymakers have gone home. The weather is very mild for this time of year. We should be in quite a quiet part of the year," he said.