Public anger over Dewsbury and District Hospital plan

HEATED DEBATE Emotions were running high when hospital proposals were discussed at Dewsbury Area Commitee's last meeting.
HEATED DEBATE Emotions were running high when hospital proposals were discussed at Dewsbury Area Commitee's last meeting.
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Doctors defending proposals to radically reorganise local hospital services were told they should be ‘ashamed’ during a heated public meeting.

People voiced fears that lives would be put at risk if plans to downgrade Dewsbury and District Hospital’s A&E department went ahead.

Last Tuesday’s meeting of Dewsbury Area Committee also heard concerns about the quality of care families would receive if some maternity and children’s services were moved to Wakefield.

But representatives from the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust and North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) insisted the changes would improve care.

One man asked: “Can you tell us that in your opinion this is definitely going to save lives and is a better way of organising the health service?”

Dr Matt Shepherd, a consultant in emergency medicine, said: “I wouldn’t be stood here if I didn’t believe this was the right thing to do for the majority of our patients.”

The meeting heard 29 GP practices in North Kirklees were backing the plans, but two had refused their support.

Dewsbury GP Dr Hanume Thimmegowda said vital time could be lost if patients from were taken to Pinderfields instead of Dewsbury.

“How can you save lives unless you treat people urgently and quickly?”

Coun Salim Patel (Con, Dews South) asked if public views would be considered .

Trust chief executive Stephen Eames said: “We’re all listening very carefully to what people say.”

Public consultation ends on May 31.