Health chiefs still confident over change strategy

HEALTH chiefs are confident their plans to cut services at Dewsbury District Hospital will be approved by the Government.

They spoke out after councillors referred plans to reduce A&E and maternity to secretary of state Jeremy Hunt.

Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Stephen Eames issued a joint statement with doctors’ leaders yesterday (Thurs).

Dr David Kelly and Dr Phil Earnshaw, of the North Kirklees and Wakefield clinical commissioning groups respectively, joined Mr Eames.

They said: “We are clearly very disappointed with the committee’s decision and now await the secretary of state’s verdict.

“However, we are confident our proposals and the process we followed satisfied the secretary of state’s four key tests for service change.

“The proposals are crucial to the long-term sustainability of services and we will continue to plan for change pending the outcome of the referral process.

“The trust and the clinical commissioning groups all agree change has to happen – something that councillors echoed at their meeting.

“The proposals are based on our key aim, which is to meet the highest standards of safety and quality for patients.

“We passionately believe the changes we have proposed are the best way to save more lives and improve results for patients.

“This is supported by the two health and wellbeing boards that serve North Kirklees and Wakefield.”

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