NHS services 'much improved'

PATIENT services at Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals are much improved from eight years ago, NHS bosses have said.

It follows the implementation of changes to frontline care in a bid to save cash and keep up with increasing patient demand since 2011.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has focused more specialist treatment at Pinderfields, meaning longer journeys for some patients from North Kirklees. 

But at a health scrutiny meeting last Friday, health bosses said the upshot has been a rise in standards.

While the trust still has a deficit of around £18m, this is lower than it was at the time of the changes.

Simultaneously, other NHS trusts elsewhere in the country have lost money.

Jo Webster, chief operating officer at Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Overall, hospital services in Wakefield and across our footprint are better than they were eight years ago. I can say that confidently and we have evidence of that.

“I don’t sit here and say they’re the best in the world and I’m not saying everyone who comes through the hospital gets a great experience and a great outcome.

“But if you think about where we were eight years ago compared to now, some of the outcomes have improved and we have actually delivered more in some areas than we anticipated.”

The trust’s chief executive Martin Barkley, said: “What’s been achieved has made services much more sustainable. There’s real evidence of improvement, quality of outcomes and reduced mortality rates.

“The Care Quality Commission said Dewsbury Hospital was unrecognisable from beforehand – in a good way I hasten to add. It’s been terrific.”

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