Sign our petition to keep A&E at Dewsbury and District Hospital

UNDER THREAT: Dewsbury and District Hospital's A&E department could close.
UNDER THREAT: Dewsbury and District Hospital's A&E department could close.

HOSPITAL bosses are looking at a plan to scrap Dewsbury’s A&E department.

Under the proposals, Dewsbury and District Hospital would not have a 24 hour consultant-led emergency department, but would instead have an Urgent Care Centre.

This centre would provide care for minor injuries and illnesses and 24-hour emergency services would be based at Pinderfields.

The proposal is part of one of two options being considered by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust which runs Dewsbury, Pontefract and Pinderfields hospitals.

But we think services should be kept local.

Reporter Series editor Hannah Ridgeway said: “There has been overwhelming support amongst our readers for keeping a full A&E service at Dewsbury hospital. The Reporter Series wants to add its voice to the call to keep casualty services local.

“There may be clinical arguments for centralising some specialist services, but scrapping a 24-hour emergency service like this, seems like putting saving money before saving lives.”

The trust is losing £100,000 a day and is expected to be £26m in the red by the end of the financial year.

And its current financial situation means it will fail to make the change to becoming a Foundation Trust, an elite status required by the government, by 2014.

All NHS trusts must balance their books to achieve the status or face major reorganisation, government ministers have warned.

Mid Yorkshire’s interim chief executive Stephen Eames said: “Looking at the historical financial position and the position going forward, it’s not possible for the trust to progress to Foundation Trust status in the foreseeable future.”

Mid Yorkshire, which has already implemented a series of cost-saving measures, said it was working to find a way forward, which could include partnering with other NHS providers and is expected to have drawn up a plan by the autumn.

Proposals being considered by the trust include centralising all emergency and complex services at Pinderfields in Wakefield. Both plans include a midwife led maternity unit at Dewsbury.

• We’ve started a petition asking hospital bosses to keep A&E in Dewsbury. Click here to sign it.