Time to have your A&E say

LOCAL people are to have their say on radical changes at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

The plans would mean changes to the type of emergency, maternity, children’s and surgical services it offers.

They would make Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield the main site for emergency care in our area as well as for the most complex surgery and most serious medical cases.

Dewsbury would have its A&E department downgraded to an emergency care centre for minor cases and some ambulance admissions.

Its maternity unit would only offer midwife-led care for ‘low risk’ births, with consultant-led ‘high risk’ and neonatal care at Pinderfields only.

It children’s inpatient services would also be replaced with a children’s assessment unit open 12 hours a day only. But the hospital would offer more planned inpatient surgery, including five extra specialities.

Health bosses yesterday agreed that local people must have their say on the plans.

The Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield District Cluster Board voted unanimously for a full public consultation.

NHS Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield District chief executive Mike Potts said: “The changes which the Trust have proposed are very significant and there have been many months of research, analysis and discussion about whether they will provide local people with the best health outcomes.

“Our Board today accepted that the option put forward by the Trust would secure high quality care into the future.

“We have already spent a lot of time talking to patients, the public, clinicians and local representatives about what hospital and community service could look like, and it’s now full steam ahead as we prepare for public consultation.

“We hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to find out more and to give us their views.”

A 12 week public consultation will begin on March 1.

The feedback will be reviewed by GP-led commissioning groups who will decide whether to approve the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust plans for Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals.