PROTESTERS turned out in force to send a message to health board bosses today (Saturday).

Around 1,200 people showed their support for maintaining essential services at Withybush Hospital.

Julie Humphreys from Haverfordwest credits Withybush A&E with saving her late father’s life on four separate occasions.

“It’s got that connection for the whole county,” she said.

“Everyone has used Withybush. I can’t understand getting rid of it.

“The proposed new hospital is too far away and there’s no funding in place.

“The amount of tourism here, I can’t understand how they can even think about it.”

“I really worry about young families especially,” she said.

“The time it will take to travel to a new hospital is very concerning.”

Her daughter Claire, 33, works with children and adults with disabilities and shared concerns about the removal of services from Withybush.

Sally Edwards from Pembroke Dock was joined by her young sons Morgan and Iwan for the protest.

“We used A&E last year when Morgan was hit by a surf board on Broadhaven South beach,” said Sally.

“It took us 40 minutes to get to A&E.

“You have to wonder who makes these decisions.

“Do they not have elderly parents or children?”

Also among the crowds were hospital staff, one of whom said: “I wasn’t told I couldn’t attend, but I feel I have to be careful. I don’t want to give my name.”