999 diverts to Dewsbury and District Hospital causing alarm

PATIENT DIVERSIONS Dewsbury and District Hospital.
PATIENT DIVERSIONS Dewsbury and District Hospital.

Emergency patients are being diverted to Dewsbury for treatment as delays and bed shortages forced another hospital to turn ambulances away.

The area’s accident and emergency department has been taking extra patients at times when Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield is too busy.

The problem first emerged a year ago when figures revealed 146 “ambulance diverts” between the two hospitals in 2012 and 2013.

Now new figures show ambulances were diverted from Pinderfields to Dewsbury on 70 occasions during 2014.

And despite Dewsbury taking the extra patients, the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust still wants to downgrade the its A&E department and centralise emergency care at Pinderfields.

Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood (Lab) said: “For the second year running we see that Dewsbury and District Hospital’s A&E is having to carry Pinderfields to an alarming extent.

“Every time Pinderfields can’t cope and ambulances are diverted to Dewsbury it means extra stress on our resources and people having to wait even longer to be seen.”

On December 9, ambulances were diverted for eight hours because there were no beds at Pinderfields.

There were also “minus beds” at Pinderfields on three occasions last January.

Mid Yorkshire’s director of operations Neil Clark said additional beds had been added at Pinderfields to reduce diverts.

He said: “We have though seen a four percent increase year-on-year in the number of ambulances coming to our hospitals, with a ten per cent increase for December.

“Despite the increased demand on our service, these figures show that there were just five diverts in December.”