We are a coalition of ‘Defend the NHS’ Campaign groups, working to highlight the policy and processes behind the changes to hospital provision in Dewsbury. These sorts of changes are also happening all around the country. The photo shows some of us at a recent “Hands Round Dewsbury Hospital” event. We are building on the success of the Save Our Local Hospital Services group (SOLHS). SOLHS alerted the Joint Kirklees and Wakefield Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee,(JHOSC) to the dangers of the changes proposed to Dewsbury Hospital.
Because of issues highlighted by the SOLHS campaign, the JHOSC decided that the changes were ‘not in the interests of the local population’ and referred the plan to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. He gave their report to the inappropriately named Independent Reconfiguration Panel who decided that it was government policy and the Clinical Commissioning Groups should go ahead and reconfigure the services.
No sooner had this decision been taken, than the news in the Daily Mail highlighted the risks to patients at the neighbouring hospital, when Newark A&E was closed.
So we believe local patients are at risk due to longer ambulance travel time and the people of Wakefield will also be at risk because people will not be able to be admitted to hospital in Dewsbury, but have to be transferred to Pinderfields, putting extra pressure of numbers, on to the facilities and staff. The Chair of the North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group stresses that the A&E at Dewsbury is not closing, but from September 2016 the only Acute, that is, emergency cases it will be admitting, are Acute Medical cases such as people with pneumonia and serious life threatening asthma attacks. The plan is to eventually admit these patients to Pinderfields as well, when the conditions are right!