What is it like, for you?

Dewsbury Hospital’s sign at the time of ‘Meeting the Challenge’.

The changes to Dewsbury Hospital finished in September 2017. Local people now have to travel to Pinderfields Wakefield, for more consultant appointments than formerly and blue light ambulances go there in preference to Dewsbury which is unable to admit patients who are seriously ill. The children’s ward at Dewsbury is closed and the Children’s Assessment Unit (CAU) is open during the day only. There is a midwife led unit for births, but no consultant cover.

The Joint Scrutiny Committee of Kirklees and Wakefield Councils who examined the proposals when they came out and found them unfit for the local population, had referred them to the Secretary of State who in turn sent them to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP). They in turn looked and ruled that the reservations of the Scrutiny Committee could be addressed by the local Clinical Commissioning Groups. We want to know! Have these concerns been addressed?

Since that time, many other hospital closure and downgrade proposals have been sent to the IRP.

Campaign groups across England are meeting in the House of Commons in September 2018 to highlight the gaps in the IRP processes. This is especially relevant here due to the proposals for Huddersfield which is the 8th largest town in England and will have no blue light hospital. Nor will the district of Kirklees as a whole.

It will be useful for North Kirklees NHS Support Group to have evidence from patients of successes and frustrations (failures) of the lack of a District Hospital and what used to be called Care Closer to Home plus the need to travel further away from home for specialist services, especially childbirth. This evidence can then be used to support other campaign groups and their concerns about their service reductions. It will highlight the gaps in the IRP’s processes.

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