CAMPAIGNERS determined to save the A&E department at Withybush Hospital have announced they will be ramping up efforts to engage local support for the hospital.

The announcement comes in the run-up to a Senedd debate, which is to be held on Wednesday, June 29, over fears Withybush Hospital will lose its A&E - the only accident and emergency in the county.

In January, Hywel Dda put a business case forward to the Welsh government for a new hospital to be built somewhere in the Whitland area.

The petition by campaign group 'Save Withybush', titled, ‘Withybush General Hospital must retain 24 hour, seven days a week, consultant Led urgent care’, highlights that Hywel Dda have made no guarantees urgent care will remain in Withybush.

It calls on the health board to commit to rigorous recruitment policies, to keep the hospital fully staffed.

Now that the petition is to be debated, campaigners say they are issuing a “call to arms” for local residents, town and community councils, trade union branches, county councillors and anyone with concerns over the proposed downgrades to the hospital to take action and to make their voice heard.

A spokesperson said: “We’d also like to thank Fishguard Town Council who are already canvassing their electorate with regards to passing a motion defending Withybush. 

"We urge county councillors to support a similar motion which is currently being considered by Pembrokeshire County Council.

"We need to let our elected reps know that united we will defeat these dangerous plans to take away our A&E.” 

Western Telegraph: A rally held outside Withybush Hospital in AprilA rally held outside Withybush Hospital in April


The campaigners say voluntary researchers have also joined the movement and helped to create a briefing paper which will be sent to all the relevant MS’s.

The hard-hitting briefing paper highlights several areas where the Health Board’s proposed changes would put people at risk and have not been properly thought out.

Campaigners say the paper also highlights the health board’s abject failure to properly engage with the local community. 

The paper concludes with the following words: "The proposals are suggestive of making decisions based upon financial considerations rather than health need and population well being."

All of the ways which people can get involved, including how to email their local MS’s can be found on the Save Withybush Facebook group.

Alternatively people can email for a copy of the template letter to send to their MS’s.