Patient care first

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I RECENTLY visited Dewsbury hospital as an outpatient and received excellent service.

On examining my appointment notes I saw this slogan, ‘Bringing Together Community and Hospital Services’.

This I find rather confusing. With essential services moving to Pinderfields, this should read ‘Separating Community and Hospital Services’.

I have some sympathy with the Mid Yorkshire Trust, because of the Blair, Brown administrations’ dictat that PFI private finance must be used to finance hospital building.

This removed the responsibility for paying for the building work from central government and has resulted in a large financial burden being placed on Mid Yorkshire and other boards all over the country.

When the idea was conceived to build a new hospital at Pinderfields, detailed plans for a building to contain all departments must have been drawn up. Costs for rent, maintenance, cleaning, catering, staff wages, the latest equipment, etc, must have been calculated – this is known as a budget.

These will then have been shown to the health ministry, to be agreed and signed off. The finance to come from the ministry should then have matched the expenditure figure.

The huge deficit building up tells me that thing have gone drastically wrong. This, I venture, is gross mismanagement.

When the board took over Dewsbury and District Hospital it was in the black, very soon it was over £10m in the red.

The board is now taking out the results of this mismanagement on hospital staff by asking them to take a 10 per cent pay cut, and the people in the Dewsbury and Pontefract areas seeing services removed.

I think it is time for board of the Trust to step down. The ministry has a statutory requirement to provide full hospital services in the LOCAL area. They should sort out the financial situation, bring back full service to Dewsbury and Pontefract.

This, I feel, is sure to make tens of thousands of people very happy.

A recent report about care of elderly patients on ward two and the refusal of the board to review the situation, stating that there were procedures in place do deal with the situation, was very arrogant. Why did the said procedures not work? A team should have gone in straight away to sort staffing levels, training etc.

Patient care should always come first.

DAVID LAWN

Huddersfield Road

LIVERSEDGE