Campaign group SWAT has said that Hywel Dda’s consultation excercise is an attempt to “Rochdale” the people of Pembrokeshire – referring to the health board's chief executive Trevor Purt’s previous role in the north west.

“Trevor Purt and his cronies destroyed the Rochdale Infirmary by moving a few services out of Rochdale to Oldham. They left a previously solid district general hospital, similar to Withybush, in an unsustainable position in 2007 and now, five years later, Rochdale Infirmary is merely a shell with some community and day case services only.

“The preferred options and reading between the lines of these documents will ensure the demise of all inpatient services at Withybush over the next five years with probably general medicine the last to go.”

Dr Overton, a obstetrics consultant, said that maternity and paediatric services are prime examples.

“They state that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists require 2,500 deliveries for a sustainable Consultant Obstetric Unit.

“They claim that this is possible in Hywel Dda and that to move forwards they need to centralise preferably in Glangwili.

“If we just look at the numbers then there are 3,800 deliveries of Hywel Dda residents each year, 500 will continue to choose to deliver in Swansea and 400 now deliver in Bronglais that leaves 2,800 between Withybush and Glangwili.

“If 2,500 is required for a viable complex Obstetric Unit then only 300 will remain for Withybush. It will not take five years for the closure of consultant led obstetrics at Withybush with that number of deliveries.

“Similarly they say they want to maintain some paediatrics on three sites, but once again as soon as the main paediatric and special care facilities move to one site, Glangwili, then Withybush will wither and die.”

Dr Overton fears that orthopaedics faces a similar fate andWithybush will be left with nothing but outpatients and day case facilities with some rehabilitation beds.