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Withybush petition surpasses 10,000 signatures



THE PETITION opposing the ‘drastic changes’ to Withybush hospital has already received over 10,500 signatures.

It was revealed in last week’s proposals by the Hywel Dda University Health Board, that all of the options involve the downgrading of Withybush from a general hospital to a community facility.

The proposed changes would see Withybush left with non-medical beds, minor injuries and midwife-led maternity units and could carry out tests and scans.

Tenby would also have a summer minor injuries unit, whilst greater emphasis would be placed on caring in communities to mitigate the transport issues faced by the frailer, older population.

The Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit (PACU) which currently provides care from 10am until 6pm at Withybush will be removed and put into the new build between Narberth and St Clears.

It is not known yet whether services such as audiology, child development or backroom testing in the microbiology and biochemistry labs will stay or also be transferred to the new General hospital.

Having started the petition late Sunday evening (Apr 22) it has quickly gathered momentum amongst the displeased populace of Pembrokeshire, voicing their disappointment in the proposals put forth by the Health Board.

Although Hywel Dda has stressed no decisions have been made yet, and have reiterated that the consultation is open until July 12, many feel that it merely gives the illusion of discussion, and that plans to downgrade Withybush have been in place for some time.

In a Facebook comment after the petition was released, Mr Bamford-Lewis said: “They know what they’ve picked before they’ve picked it. The consultation is just lip service.”

The Save Withybush Action Team have also spoken out, offering a similar view, saying: “So the so-called ‘consultation’ has started. Options A, B & C aren’t really options at all.”

The Hywel Dda Health Board explained that the current situation regarding healthcare in west Wales is ‘unsustainable’ and Chief Executive Steve Moore said that the option of ‘doing nothing’ had been considered but that this was no longer possible.

The Health Board has the largest budget deficit in NHS Wales, of roughly £69m, up to 500 staff vacancies each month which must be counteracted by paying a premium and the local NHS currently sees 150,000 patients a week, with population growth combined with an increasingly ageing demographic stretching the system.

The petition can be found:


Milford Haven: Three hurt in violent pub incident



THREE people were injured in a violent incident at the Trafalgar pub on Charles Street in Milford Haven, shortly after 7am on Sunday (Oct 21).

The popular drinking spot was forced to close for a few hours after a man was hospitalised and two others who were in the premises, a male and female were also hurt, but not seriously.

On Facebook, landlady Sally Allen posted: “We took the decision to close until the matter was fully investigated. I would like to thank my customers for they co-operation this morning and supporting with dealing with the matter. Much respect, thank you!”

She later added: “This was a rare but never less a horrible incident that was dealt with very professionally by staff and police. Also, I would like to thank everyone involved for there full cooperation.

“A real show of a community of locals pulling together.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of my staff and customers for their support in this matter at the time and afterwards.
“The offender is a known to the town and police as a troublemaker.

“He is being dealt with by the police and has a lifetime ban from the Trafalgar pub.”

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police told The Herald: “We attended The Trafalgar pub, Milford Haven, shortly after 7am on Sunday, October 21, following reports of an assault. One man was taken to hospital with a head wound and a woman and a second man received minor injuries.”

The spokesman added: “A 30-year-old man was arrested at 8.20am at Steynton Road on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, and later released on police bail with conditions.”

In an appeal for information, the police said: “The investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20181021-067.”

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Haverfordwest: Suspected child groomer remanded



A MERLINS BRIDGE man has been remanded into custody after being arrested and charged with a child grooming offence.

Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court heard on October 23 that from October 14 to October 20 in Haverfordwest, Shaun Smith, 63, used Facebook messenger to groom a 14-year-old girl and then made attempts to meet that girl in the local Mc Donald’s restaurant.

Shaun Smith, 63, looked emotionless in the dock, and did not enter any plea to the single charge under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Wearing a grey jogging suit, he confirmed his name, date of birth and address from behind a glass screen.

He will now remain in custody until his next hearing at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, November 23, at 10am for his own safety, and to stop the defendant absconding, the court heard.

He was represented in court by Mike Kelleher or Red Kite Solicitors.

Mr Kelleher made no application for bail as no suitable address could be found for Smith.

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Pembroke: RSPCA appeal after mare abandoned



RSPCA CYMRU is appealing for information after a Thoroughbred bay mare was found abandoned in Pembroke.

It has been reported to the animal welfare charity that on Friday, October 5, the horse was seen being unloaded onto land belonging to the Windmill Hill Caravan Park which is on one of the main roads to Pembroke.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This Thoroughbred bay mare has a slight injury to her hip, which possibly could be an old injury as she was a racehorse. It is just so sad that someone has just left her.

“A blue transit van was seen with the horse by some witnesses. This does appear to be an abandonment, and we’d urge anyone with information about this horse to contact the RSPCA through our inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018 so we can find out more information about what happened here.

“The horse has a microchip and has the name ‘All Talk’ and we know that the horse had been rehomed to a livery yard in Pembrokeshire, so we’re using this information with our enquiries, but we also need the help of members of the public for vital information.

“We also urge people to seriously think about the commitment involved in caring for horses as this sadly happens far too often.”

Should you wish to help RSPCA Cymru with work like this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.

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