SOME patients taken to Dewsbury District Hospital by ambulance are facing long waits, it has been revealed.
Between December 2014 and November 2016 there were 810 occasions when it took between 30 minutes and an hour for ambulance crews to hand over their patients to A&E staff.
There were also 132 so-called ‘black breaches’ where patients waited more than an hour.
Ambulance crews are expected to hand over patients within 30 minutes.
These latest figures place more pressure on the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is planning on downgrading the A&E department at Dewsbury Hospital to an urgent care centre, with the most serious cases set to be sent to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
However the same figures revealed that Pinderfields is possibly under more pressure than Dewsbury when it comes to ambulance admittance times.
During the same period, 7,459 patients waited for more than 30 minutes to be admitted to the hospital, including 2,160 ‘black breaches’.
Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Paula Sharriff said she was “incredibly concerned” about the figures.
She said: “I have been told by Yorkshire Ambulance Service employees that Pinderfields is regarded as the worst hospital in the area for handover.
“Given that Pinderfields cannot cope at the present time I am incredibly concerned about these plans and their impact on patient safety.
“I have asked Jeremy Hunt to step in and suspend the needless downgrades of both Dewsbury and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary as I firmly believe that if these plans are implemented they will cost lives.”
Batley and Spen Labour MP Tracy Brabin added: “My constituents are deeply concerned about this downgrade and these statistics raise yet more questions about Pinderfields’ capacity to cope with the extra demand.”
Erika McGinnes, assistant deputy director of operations at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, said: “Between December 2014 and November 2016, MYHT saw a total of 91,112 ambulances attending our sites.
“Of these, only nine per cent of crews were delayed between 30 and 60 minutes and two per cent over 60 minutes.
“Much work has been undertaken to streamline the handover process including the introduction of an initial assessment team with dedicated staff and cubicle space, and a self-handover process which the ambulance service can use if it is safe and appropriate to do so.”