Hospital looks at future of A&E unit

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A COUNCILLOR has quit his health board role after finding out that Dewsbury’s A&E department could close.

Coun Paul Kane resigned from the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee on Mid Yorkshire Future Hospital Services on Wednesday in protest to the threat.

He said he felt unable to stay in the position, which he has held for 14 years, with the future of such a vital service in doubt.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust insists there are no specific plans to shut A&E at Dewsbury and District Hospital, but said previous assurances that it was safe were in the past.

But Coun Kane (Lab, Dews East) said the idea was floated in a confidential briefing.

“I’ve got severe concerns about this,” he said. “I’ve been extremely supportive of understanding why services are being changed, but this one is too far. I want a concerted effort by all council members to get together and stop these proposals.”

On Monday, the Guardian asked if the Trust could guarantee the department’s future.

Interim chief executive Stephen Eames said the organisation needed to look forward.

“It’s right to say we’re discussing the future of services across the hospitals and how we best organise our emergency services,” he said. “There are no specific proposals at this stage.”

A public consultation is planned for January 2013.