FOLLOWING yesterday’s Senedd row involving a Plaid Cymru AM and the First Minister accessing details of emails he was sent by the health board it has said it will “continue to work with all political parties.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board said all political parties are involved in its “critical piece of work to ensure local NHS services are fit for our population now and in the future.”

The Health Board is currently in the options development stage of the Transforming Clinical Services programme.

Leaked documents revealed last week that potential options include the possible closure of Withybush Hospital.

A public consultation is planned for the spring.

A spokesman said: “Involvement from patients, staff, the public and political leaders, is essential for us to develop the best possible strategy for our whole population.

“In this context, the Health Board wishes to make it clear that we hugely value our engagement with local AMs and MPs of every political party as our constituents’ representatives, and have always prided ourselves on having open and constructive discussions.

“Whilst it can sometimes prove challenging to meet as often as we would like, this is a reflection of the scale of the agenda we are all facing and not a lack of willingness, on either side, to maintain good communication.

“A specific instance of these challenges was highlighted yesterday in relation to our engagement activities with the Assembly Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Adam Price.

“The Health Board has always worked positively with Adam and has maintained regular engagement with him over a number of years. This is similarly true of our relationship with other politicians in our area.”

Carwyn Jones told the Senedd that Plaid’s Adam Price had ignored two requests to engage with Hywel Dda, according to information obtained from the health board.

Mr Price accused Mr Jones of breaching protection law, and said his comments overlooked his attempts to arrange a meeting with the chief executive. He called for an apology.

Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “I have always been keen to keep local AMs and MPs engaged and have found nothing but willingness on their part to do so.

Adam Price and the wider Plaid Cymru group, as well as other public representatives in our area, have been active participants in discussions about our services and I would not wish the impression to be otherwise.

“I would also wish to apologise to Adam that there was an inaccuracy in our briefing to Welsh Government, specifically a request we received from him in January 2018 to meet for a general update and to discuss a constituency issue, which we missed.”

The health board is seeking to establish a reference group with representatives from across political parties and county elected members, to regularly update on transformation work.