Hywel Dda University Health Board has welcomed the decision of a judicial review which upheld its consultation on health care changes as ‘fair and lawful’.

Welcoming the decision, Director of Corporate Services, Chris Wright, said he hoped the judgement provided staff, patients and members of the public with the assurance that the consultation was not only lawful but fully compliant with best practice.

Mr Wright added: “We have always maintained that our consultation fully complied with the law and was open, accessible and inclusive. We are delighted that this has been recognised by the Judge and hope that this marks the end of what has been a long and costly process.

“Our legal costs in defending the case are in the region of £300,000 – money that would have been better spent on front line services.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies says the fight to retain services at Withybush Hospital will go on despite the failed judicial review.

Commenting on a High Court decision to dismiss a legal challenge made by Hywel Dda reorganisation campaigners Mr Davies said “This is a disappointing decision which does not signal the end of our fight against Labour’s devastating plans.

“It must also be remembered that neither is this decision any kind of endorsement of the proposals – which remain a catastrophic mistake.

“Plans to strip Withybush of core services are reckless, unnecessary, and dangerous.

“Given the gravity of Labour’s irresponsible proposals, it is no surprise to see so many recently making their way to the Senedd to protest.

“It is crucial that these thousands of voices are heard and I look forward to joining campaigners at future protests.

“This decision must be overturned and my passionate campaigning will continue.”