I have been following your articles about the future of Dewsbury Hospital, but frankly I am confused. During the consultation, we were repeatedly told that beds and services could be safely reduced because fewer people would need treatment in hospital as they would be using new care in the community facilities.
At a meeting I attended on September 5, Dr Kelly, ChairMAN of the North Kirklees CCG, gave me an absolute assurance that beds and services at Dewsbury could not and would not be cut before these services were in place and he estimated that this would take a year to 18 months to achieve. But on October 11 you report Mr Eames, Chief Executive of the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, as saying of this crucial step: “The detail is not there, but the intention is there and we know what we need to do.”
We all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So Mr Eames hasn’t worked out the details of how the care in the community is going to work, but he knows in great detail how he is going to devastate our local hospital services. And, despite the fact that the Wakefield and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee have spoken up for local people by refusing to say yes to proposals which they feel are not in our best interests, Mr Eames says “we will continue to plan for change”.
This means he is planning to go ahead with drastically downgrading Dewsbury’s A&E provision, cutting maternity services from a proper maternity unit dealing with 2,500 deliveries a year to a six-bed mid-wife led “home-from-home” unit and cutting children’s services.
Furthermore, our local MP is accusing the Scrutiny Committee, who have courageously called a halt to proceedings, of delaying the spending to put these unwanted changes into effect. Yes, Mr Reevell and Mr Eames, that is exactly what they are doing because they don’t believe what you propose to do will be in our best interests. We aren’t daft, you know – we are not going to be fooled by promises of a new entrance to the Ridings Building and a new MRI scanner into thinking you have our best interests at heart.