Pembrokeshire nursing homes are calling for help from the Pembrokeshire Local Health Board (LHB) in light of new regulations.

Since April this year nursing homes across the UK have to foot the bill for the disposal of surplus drugs.

Local nursing home managers are also worried that the new regulations have opened up a loophole for surplus drugs to be sold on the black market.

Lynne Berryman from Parc-y-Llun nursing home, Haverfordwest, said: "Myself and my staff are not happy with the way this regulation has been implemented without any consultation whatsoever.

"Furthermore we feel that we are having to breach our professional conduct by not being able to ensure that these drugs are being disposed of properly."

Barry Latham from Care for Wales said: "Previous to the new regulations, local pharmacies would pick up surplus drugs from the nursing homes and dispose of them free of charge.

"A full list of the drugs would be given and the pharmacies would sign a receipt leaving a clear audit trail.

"However, with the new system, specialised companies paid to collect the drugs for disposal do not sign a list, losing the audit trail, which means the drugs could end up anywhere.

"This is opening up all kinds of risks and nurses are being asked to act against their professional mode of conduct.

"Local health boards in north Wales have come together and arranged to pick up surplus drugs free of charge. However, Pembrokeshire LHB has left care homes to deal with the disposal of the drugs."

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said: "Assembly Government officials will be meeting the Environment Agency shortly to discuss the situation."

Pembrokeshire Local Health Board's business manager, Louise Morris, said the LHB was unaware of any concerns from the nursing home sector in this regard.

She added: "Colleagues will look into this in more detail now that they are aware of such concerns and arrange a meeting, if necessary, with the nursing homes to discuss the way forward."