Don’t scrap our A&E department, says heart attack survivor

CAMPAIGNER: Heart attack survivor Faisal Mahmood has been tirelessly collecting signatures for our campaign to save Dewsbury and District Hospital's A&E department.
CAMPAIGNER: Heart attack survivor Faisal Mahmood has been tirelessly collecting signatures for our campaign to save Dewsbury and District Hospital's A&E department.
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A HEART attack survivor, who says he owes his life to Dewsbury and District Hospital’s A&E department, has collected almost 500 signatures on a petition against scaling down the service.

Taxi driver Faisal Mahmood went home from work with back pain which quickly got worse. Within minutes he was being treated for a heart attack at Dewsbury’s A&E department.

He fears that had he been forced to go the extra 10 miles to Pinderfields he may have died. He has now joined the Guardian’s campaign to save the department from being downgraded by collecting 487 signatures.

Mr Mahmood, of Jeremy Lane, Heckmondwike, said: “I was driving when I got back pain. I thought I would take some painkillers and I’d be okay but my wife said we should go to the hospital. I drove myself up and while there I had a heart attack. They took me straight in and treated me.”

After being stabilised, Mr Mahmood was then transferred to Leeds General Infirmary for surgery.

He said: “If I’d had to go all the way to Pinderfields A&E I might have died. This is the reason I am doing this with the petition.”

Under the proposals by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals, Dewsbury and District Hospital would not have a 24 hour consultant-led emergency department, but would instead have an Urgent Care Centre.

This centre would provide care for minor injuries and illnesses and 24-hour emergency services would be based at Pinderfields.

The proposal is part of one of two options being considered by the Trust.

Mr Mahmood and his friend Afzal Qurish have visited mosques, taxi ranks, shops and businesses in Heckmondwike to collect signatures for our petition. And now Mr Mahmood is urging readers to do their bit.

He added: “If everyone pulls their finger out we should be able to do something.

“We cannot afford to lose this. If it goes, it will be devastating and a lot of people are going to suffer.”