Public are unconvinced by health change proposals

HEALTH chiefs admitted they have not convinced the public about cutting services at Dewsbury District Hospital.

The conclusion was reached at a meeting last Tuesday, where results from consultation on plans to slash A&E and maternity were reviewed.

A 30-page summary compiled by independent firm The Campaign Company is  now available for people to read.

It shows residents across North Kirklees are worried about what effect any downgrading of Dewsbury will have.

The report warns the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust will have a battle on its hands to win public confidence.

It said: “Concerns exists in relation to the issues of transport, maternity provision and Dewsbury District Hospital’s sustainability.

“These and other issues have been prevalent in the consultation feedback. Not all of the community are reassured and those concerns may persist.

“Developing ways of addressing those concerns will be important to establish trust in any new service that is provided.”

Dewsbury’s maternity unit, which would be mid-wife rather than consultant led under the cuts plan, was a concern for residents.

There were also fears about a private finance deal for new hospitals in Wakefield and Pontefract damaging Dewsbury’s future.

The report will reviewed by the clinical commissioning groups (CCG) in North Kirklees and Wakefield on Thursday July 25.

It is due to be held at Ossett Town Hall from 12.30pm and will be open to the public. A recommendation on downgrading is set to be made.

Dr Phil Earnshaw, chairman of the Wakefield CCG, said: “A decision will be taken on whether or not the proposals should go to the next stage.

“I thank all the people who have given their time, commitment and expertise to this process.”

• Campaign group Save our Local Hospital Services will hold a meeting next Tuesday at 7.30pm.

The meeting, at the Women’s Health Centre on Wellington Street, Dewsbury, is open to anyone with an interested in protecting existing services.

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