Ward closures cancelled due to safety fears

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust was planning to close the wards in the Ridings Building as part of plans to reduce the length of time people are staying in hospital.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust was planning to close the wards in the Ridings Building as part of plans to reduce the length of time people are staying in hospital.

Health bosses have decided not to go ahead with the closure of four wards at Dewsbury hospital because of safety concerns.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust was planning to close the wards in the Ridings Building as part of plans to reduce the length of time people are staying in hospital.

But the plan has been put on hold for safety reasons because of higher-than-expected numbers of patients needing treatment at Dewsbury.

The move was announced by trust chief executive Martin Barkley in a letter to MPs.

Mr Barkley wrote: “The main contributory factor is that demand for services across the system is rising, resulting in high levels of demand for admission, particularly in those specialties such as frail older people, respiratory and stroke which traditionally have longer lengths of stay.”

Mr Barkley also cited changes at hospitals in Leeds among his reasons for cancelling the closure of the in-patient wards.

He said: “Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has changed the site which receives most acute medical patients from LGI (Leeds General Infirmary) to St James’s, which means Leeds is no longer nearer than Pinderfields.

“Given the uncertainties about the number of beds required, it does not seem sensible at this time, to lose four wards.”

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff said the hospital was struggling to keep up with demand because of budget cuts by the government.

She said: “I welcome the trust’s decision and I’m pleased that they are responding to concerns raised about the impact of planned changes on patient safety.

“It is only right that any uncertainties about the number of in-patient beds required are met with prudent planning.

“What continues to concern me here is the immense pressure being placed on our local NHS services to cut costs.”