Call for review of hospital changes

A CAMPAIGNER has called for hospital changes to be reviewed – as health chiefs insist their plans are still valid.

Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dewsbury East) has had to keep his views to himself over the last two years due to holding the ceremonial roles of Deputy Mayor and Mayor of Kirklees.

In that time, a separate reorganisation in Huddersfield which affects our area has been announced.

But now Coun Kane is free of the ceremonial chains and can speak against the plans.

He said: “In the response I had from Mid Yorkshire, their reductions were based on retention of a full A&E at Huddersfield.”

Coun Kane wants it looked at again and added: “It turns out they made their decision on a false premise.”

He said: “What they (the NHS) talk about in terms of A&E is a critical mass of 500,000 people.

“Kirklees has a population of 440,000 and is the sixth biggest metropolitan council.

“Why isn’t there a single hospital trust for all of Kirklees? And if there was, it wouldn’t carry the burden of PFI.”

A&E at Dewsbury District Hospital is due to be downgraded to a Minor Injuries Unit in April 2017.

Most patients will continue to be seen there, though the most critically ill will be taken to Pinderfields in Wakefield or elsewhere.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is working on what will happen if the  Huddersfield scheme goes ahead.

Kevin Oxley, director of operations (corporate services), said: “We have been working with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust to assess what would happen in four or five years’ time if the changes to the emergency department at Huddersfield go ahead.

“It is likely the effect would be a small number of patients, who already live furthest away from Dewsbury Hospital, would be taken to Calderdale Hospital with some taken to Leeds or Bradford hospitals.”

He added: “The need for some patients to go to hospitals other than Pinderfields was considered long before any discussions about Calderdale and Huddersfield services.

“However this latest review of where patients would be taken suggests there would be very little difference in terms of the numbers or the areas where they would be from.

“We are confident, therefore, the plans we are implementing now still stand.

“The changes at Dewsbury will ensure the hospital has a viable future and that there are more sustainable services for this population from a clinical, workforce and financial point of view.”

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