CHANGES to health services in the area are a 'betrayal of residents' and another example of broken promises, says one of the region's AMs.

Plaid Cymru’s Mid and West AM Simon Thomas issued a challenge to governments in London and Cardiff Bay to work together to improve services at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.

His comments came at the Pembrokeshire County Show after health bosses were forced to 'temporarily' change the hospital's catchment area due to a shortage of doctors.

The Welsh Deanery, in charge of doctor training has not sent the usual medical trainees for the annual August start, leaving the health board to fill the vacancies with more senior doctors.

Mr Thomas, a candidate in next year’s election said: “These are mainly international doctors and it will take some months before all the visa paperwork and processes are in place and doctors are working in the hospital. This has led to an emergency “temporary solution”, which is to reduce the number of medical beds at Withybush.

“I’ve asked the Welsh Government about the advice they had been given regarding the clinical impact of changing the catchment area of Withybush Hospital, which will divert GP admissions and ambulance transfers from Narberth, Kilgetty, Saundersfoot and Tenby to Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen.

“The Minister passed the buck in his reply and said that the changes were a ‘temporary measure’. We have heard this before. Temporary measures tend to become permanent. This is how Tenby hospital lost its minor injuries unit and how we lost maternity services at Withybush over time.

“Though the health board told me local clinicians and the Ambulance Service are “fully engaged”, the decision to transfer A&E services from Withybush to Glangwili is driven by necessity, not clinical best practice, and further undermines the long term sustainability of A&E at Withybush.

“Plaid Cymru believes that this is a betrayal of residents and is another example of a broken promise by the Labour Welsh Government and the management of Hywel Dda.

“People are given assurances of a better service but the reality is very different. I am very concerned that the A&E service at Withybush is tottering from crisis to crisis.

“This is also demonstration of the utter failure of the Conservative Government in Westminster to get their act together so we can get the doctors local people need in Withybush Hospital.

"It is no point bleating about the problems of the Welsh NHS when the policy of the Conservative Government in London restricts visas halting recruitment. A Plaid Cymru government would invest into providing a 1,000 extra doctors with additional training here in Wales.”