FOLLOWING fears that 24 hour access to accident and emergency at Withybush Hospital might be at risk the health board has said “good progress” with efforts to maintain the service.

Hywel Dda University Health Board reassures patients and the public that it is making good progress to maintain short and long term provisions of the 24 hour Emergency and Urgent Care Centre at Withybush Hospital.

It says that it is continuing to work hard with clinical staff, managers, senior medical leads and GP representatives to ensure these services can continue to be provided to the same high standard for our local population.

Medical director, Dr Sue Fish said: “We are committed to the long term provision of a safe, high quality service for patients in Pembrokeshire and I would like to thank our staff and partners for their hard work and commitment in developing both short and long term solutions to ensure we continue to provide access to both 24 hour accident and emergency services and GP out of hours services.”

A health board spokesman said discussions are continuing on a regular basis to further explore greater use of community hospitals; developing models of care to allow greater involvement of GPs in A&E cover (without compromising daytime GP services) as part of a much wider multi-professional approach; developing skilled emergency nurse and advance nurse practitioners, reviewing medical staff rotas and developing pathways of care that prevent inappropriate use of the Emergency and Urgent Care Centre, enabling those patients who require admission to be fast tracked to specialist teams.

Dr Sue Fish said: “Significant efforts to improve recruitment and retention are ongoing and we are pleased to say that good progress is being made in relation to nurse and consultant appointments at Withybush Hospital. We hope to be in a position to confirm these new appointments shortly.

“Additionally, as part of the recruitment drive, the British Medical Association and the Local Medical Committee have set up a joint working group to work together to improve recruitment and retention at Withybush Hospital.”

“We will keep our staff, patients, stakeholders and general public aware of any progress through regular updates.”

Members of the public are reminded that they can play a direct part in supporting the department by choosing the right healthcare service to meet their need, avoiding inappropriate use of our emergency department. For Choose Well guidance visit