A petition to save services, including A&E at Withybush Hospital, has a fifth of the signatures it needs to be considered for debate in the Senedd, just days after it was launched.
More serious injuries would be treated at a newly built urgent care and planned hospital, to be built on a site between Narberth and St Clears, which will house a trauma unit and an emergency department.
Many Pembrokeshire residents oppose the move and believe the county should retain its A&E department.
Jacqueline Doig from the Save Withybush campaign has set up a petition on the Senedd Cymru petitions page.
It states: ‘Withybush General Hospital shall maintain 24 hour, seven day a week, consultant led emergency care.’
The petition goes on to say, “Moving care out of the county puts adults and children at risk of poor outcomes or even death. It’s a crucial waste of time, when time is not on our side.
“We have 125,000 inhabitants and millions of tourists. By implementing the downgrades, HDUHB will knowingly put their lives at risk. We reiterate, we are a rural and sprawling county with poor roads and public transport. Refinery, gasworks, ferry ports, shooting range, extreme sports, plus one of the most dangerous jobs: farming.
He added that the HDUHB’s claim that better equipped ambulances and more trained staff made changes safe depended on the prompt presence of an ambulance.
“That’s increasingly not the case,” he says. “It’s a terrible feeling to know that if our loved ones or our children have an asthma attack, seizure or other critical life-threatening condition, under the new plans, it’s unlikely that they manage to help and survive.”
The petition currently has over 2,000 signatures, which means it will be considered by the Committee on Petitions. If it reaches 10,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the Senedd.
The Save Withybush campaign also includes a rally and demonstration in front of the hospital on Wednesday 23 February.
The family rally; ‘Save Withybush A&E and Stop the Downgrade’ will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday of semester week. Children are welcome and protesters are asked to make and bring signs and banners.
The rally will be apolitical and aimed to support the hospital, not disrupt the work of staff.