PEOPLE could die if staff shortages at the trust which runs Dewsbury District Hospital are not sorted out – that was the stark warning Dewsbury & Mirfield MP Paula Sherriff gave after meeting Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust interim boss Martin Barkley.
He was said to have made several frank admissions to Ms Sherriff and fellow Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox.
One was that an extra 120 beds had been put in at the trust’s three hospitals (Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract) to cope with rising demand – but the 100 extra staff to cope with the expansion had not been hired.
Another was that Mid Yorkshire has been “effectively in crisis mode” for the last 14 months.
Mr Barkley met with the two MPs two weeks ago.
On Monday, Miss Sherriff told the House of Commons she feared another Mid Staffordshire-style hospital scandal.
This was the trust where potentially hundreds of people died unnecessarily from 2005 to 2009.
Mid Staffordshire was criticised for inadequately staffed wards that put the lives of patients at risk.
Miss Sherriff said: “I’m genuinely worried that we are heading for another Mid Staffs.
“I’m not prepared for that to happen on my watch. Something needs to be done.
“If they don’t get enough staff to man the wards effectively or safely, these wards should not be open.”
Miss Sherriff, pictured left in the Commons, said a Care Quality Commission report last year found unsafe staffing levels on many wards.
At Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, only one of the 17 wards checked met the benchmark of one nurse for every eight patients.
Ten wards were staffed at the minimum level and six were below the level considered to be safe.
In a separate development, five of the eight neurologists who care for stroke and Parkinson’s Disease patients will leave over the next four months.
Miss Sherriff called for a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss her concerns.
Monday’s House of Commons debate saw Mrs Cox put the boot into the Government.
She said: “They have cut public health funding and there is a social care crisis locally and problems with the junior doctors’ contract.
“The Government must take responsibility for this crisis and not pass the buck to an embattled NHS trust.
She pressed health minister Ben Gummer on the proposed loss of services from Dewsbury.
“As the Minister will be aware, Mid Yorkshire has the third-highest number of admissions to A&E in the country,” she said.
“In that context, I share the concern of my honourable friend the Member for Dewsbury about the planned reorganisation and downgrade of the Dewsbury hospital.
“It is a serious matter for local residents and some of my constituents. It would be wonderful to have a commitment further to discuss whether now is the time to move forward with that plan.”
Patient, 84, left on trolley for 14 hours
AN 84-year-old man was left on a trolley at Dewsbury District Hospital for 14 hours – and when he was finally transferred to a ward he was left in dirty bedding, covered in food, and naked from the waist down.
The man’s case was one of several which MP Paula Sherriff raised with Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust interim boss Martin Barkley.
She said the man’s daughter was allegedly told he was only in a pyjama top and sitting on an incontinence pad because it made it easier for him to urinate. Complaints about the man’s soiled bedding went unanswered and so the woman changed the bed herself.
David Melia, Mid Yorkshire’s acting chief nurse, said: “This case was unacceptable and below the standard we would expect as a trust.”
April 1 start for our interim hospital boss
Interim hospital boss Martin Barkley officially takes over on Friday, April 1.
But having announced his arrival at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust in February he has already held meetings with our two MPs.
Chief executive Stephen Eames is on secondment to the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Mid Yorkshire chairman Jules Preston said: “Martin Barkley will be the accountable officer for the Trust from April 1 2016.”
He added: “Stephen's secondment to North Cumbria is for an unspecified period of time. If he is away from the Trust for more than a year it will be because he is making a success of his time at North Cumbria.”
Public meeting on proposed A&E cuts
A public meeting is to be held about hospital cuts which could affect North Kirklees.
Details about plans to axe A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary will be presented on Monday, April 18.
Health chiefs will take questions at the event at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield from 6pm to 8pm.
Campaigners fear any change will hit Dewsbury District Hospital, which is itself set to lose some services.
The meeting is organised jointly by the Calderdale and Huddersfield clinical commissioning groups.
Further events are to be held, including at North Bridge Leisure Centre in Halifax from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday, April 14.