LETTER: NHS services in our town are at stake

I attended the public meeting in Dewsbury Town Hall last week about the changes to be implemented to Dewsbury Hospital next month.

Friday, 2nd September 2016, 12:04 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd September 2016, 1:06 pm
File photo dated 07/12/10 of a general view of an NHS logo, as one in ten health appointments were missed last year, costing the NHS millions of pounds and delaying treatment for other patients, figures suggest. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday August 27, 2012. Patients missed 5.5 million hospital appointments last year, the Department of Health said. See PA story HEALTH Appointments. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

There was all the usual rhetoric from the North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Mid-Yorkshire Hospital Trust about how it will all be for the best in the best of all possible worlds to lose our A&E, our consultant-led maternity service, our children’s inpatient services, etc.

Whatever we think about those changes, what we should really fear is the West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

The Government recently defined 44 “footprints” to cover England.

These are groups of CCGs tasked with producing proposals to deliver the £22 billion of so-called ‘efficiency savings’ (ie cuts). The West Yorkshire STP, like all the others, is shrouded in secrecy, despite the fact that the drafting of STPs was supposed to involve “public engagement”.

The fact is, the Government is scared to allow STPs to be made public because they will reveal the massive scale of the cuts they are designed to implement.

We need to know what is in the West Yorkshire STP and I was deeply disappointed that no information was forthcoming at the public meeting from the people on the platform.

They must know, if anyone does, and they should not be helping the Government by keeping this information from the public. Our services are at stake and we should be told what is planned.

Sent by Jenifer Devlin of Northfield Road, Dewsbury