Lib Dems speak up over maternity service threat

KIRKLEES Council should object to the downgrading of maternity and neonatal care services at Dewsbury District Hospital, say local Lib Dem politicians.
The 14strong group are to submit a motion at Wednesday’s council meeting proposing the authority move to protect Dewsbury from cuts.
The MidYorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Staincliffe complex, plans to move some services to Pinderfields in Wakefield.
Consultantled maternity care would go, leaving Dewsbury with midwifery, while a unit for premature or poorly babies would also be moved.
They are among several options being considered by the trust as part of a fiveyear clinical services reform masterplan.
It has been devised by MidYorkshire and the new Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield Primary Care Trust (PCT) cluster.
The Lib Dem motion states the maternity and neonatal proposals are not in the best interests of residents around North Kirklees.
Group leader Coun Kath Pinnock (Cleckheaton) said: “We recognise the NHS bodies have not arrived at their final options for Dewsbury.
“But we are sufficiently concerned to ask that the council takes a view on it at this stage. We want a strong message sent to the NHS bodies.
“Consultantled maternity care and neonatal services should be retained at Dewsbury to meet the needs of the local communities. Infant mortality rates are above the national average in North Kirklees and we are also concerned about the travelling distance to Pinderfields.”
Tory leader Coun Robert Light (Birstall and Birkenshaw) said he would back the motion, but added he wanted Dewsbury out of the MidYorkshire Trust altogether. “I have a lot of sympathy with the motion,” he said.
“One of the worst things to happen to this area was the merger of Dewsbury into MidYorkshire.
“It was forced on us by the last Labour government. Nobody here wanted it and it’s been a disaster. I want Dewsbury pulled out.”

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