Trust plans to close five Dewsbury hospital buildings

News update.
News update.

Health bosses have revealed plans to close five buildings at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust has decided to shut Brontë Tower and the Staincliffe Wing.

It will also close the Oakwell Centre and the Pickard and Pickersgill buildings, which were originally use as accommodation for nurses.

It is yet to decide how those areas of the site will be used in future, but has not ruled out leasing the land to other organisations or selling it off.

Chief executive Stephen Eames said: “I don’t want to speculate about what we would do. It’s far too early.

“It might be using the land to develop new things on this site. The clinical commissioning group and council are keen to see it developed as a health and social care campus.”

He said services in the affected buildings would be moved elsewhere and discussion had begun with staff.

“We’re not saying that means staff are going to lose their jobs, he said. “They might just work in a different part of the site.”

The children’s centre and nursery on site could also move from their current buildings, although no firm plans have been made.

During public meetings earlier this year, Mr Eames had denied Brontë Tower would be closed.

He said: “It was true then, but this has developed since.”

The Brontë and Staincliffe buildings are the most costly to run, according to the Trust.

Mr Eames said: “If we leave things are they are, we’re going to spend a lot of money on maintaining buildings. They are a big proportion of our costs.

“It we don’t have to spend the money in that way, we can spend it in a different way.”

The closure of the buildings is part of wider plans for modernising the site, some details of which were announced last week.

The Trust said it would be investing more than £20m at Dewsbury over the next four years.

Part of the funding will come from the Trust’s capital budget, but money saved by reducing the site’s overall running costs would also used to fund the improvements.

Proposed work includes a new main entrance to the Ridings Building, a paediatric assessment unit, a midwife-led birth centre, a redesigned A&E department, upgraded operating theatres and a £1.2m MRI scanner.

The plans are linked in part to earlier proposals to reorganise services at the Trust’s Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract sites.

They could mean Dewsbury’s A&E department is downgraded and some maternity and children’s services are moved to Wakefield.

It would also mean more planned surgery and outpatients appointments being offered at Dewsbury.

Those proposals have been referred to Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt amid concerns that they are not in the best interests of patients.

Mr Eames said some investment, including purchase the MRI scanner, would take place early next year.

But he said other aspects depended on Mr Hunt’s decision.

He said: “This can only go ahead subject to the outcome of that decision and, I would say, a positive outcome.”

See this week’s paper for more on the proposals.