Hywel Dda Health Board has refused to confirm that midwives and maternity staff will be based at Withybush Hospital 24 hours a day.

On Monday, three separate sources contacted the Western Telegraph warning that the service could be reduced to day cover.

However, the Hywel Dda University Health Board said there are “no plans to reduce opening hours.”

But sources maintained that while the unit will, in theory, be a 24-hour operation, midwives will cover the services for 12 hours and will be “on call” out of designated hours.

The Western Telegraph asked the Health Board to “confirm whether midwives and other maternity staff will be based [at the MLU] 24 hours a day?”

Keith Jones, Director of Acute Services at Hywel Dda, said: “At this time discussions are ongoing with our staff about how to better integrate MLU and community midwifery staff.

“We cannot confirm the future staffing arrangements of the MLU at Withybush Hospital as no decisions have been made but we can assure all pregnant mums that staffing support will continue to be available to support deliveries in the MLU on a 24/7 basis, and our priority remains the safe care and the overall experience they receive.

“Our staff, Hywel Dda CHC and the general public will be informed of any decisions.”

Stephen Crabb MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire expressed concerned about the plans.

"I was really concerned to learn from local health professionals last week that significant changes to Withybush’s midwife-led maternity unit were being suggested," he said.

"We have seen this time and time again – changes get proposed behind closed doors and then presented to the public as a done deal.

"Young mums in Pembrokeshire deserve to be told the plain truth about services locally. I hope local Assembly Members will raise these matters in Cardiff and get to the bottom of this latest turn of events."

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