The results of a public consultation about radical changes to local hospital services have been published today (Tuesday).
The Meeting the Challenge proposals set out how services could be offered at hospitals in Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract in future.
They include downgrading the A&E department at Dewsbury and District Hospital, and centralising some children’s and maternity services at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
In March, the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust began a three-month consultation on the plans.
It included public meetings, group discussions, questionnaires, telephone polling and roadshow events.
The report, produced by an independent organisation, details all the responses given.
It includes feedback from 2,091 questionnaires, eight public meetings, and a phone poll of more than 1,000 local people.
It said: “Residents who actively engaged in the consultation process were evenly divided on whether they thought the proposals would achieve their aims and generally supportive in principle of specialising care. But consistent concerns were raised about the specific proposals. In particular, these focused on the impact of changes to Dewsbury and District Hospital in North Kirklees.”
The report said the main concerns were:
Transport and travel – the centralisation of a number of specialist services that would impact on journey times and travel accessibility across the area;
Access to care – centralising services at one hospital would impact on the availability of local appointments and access to emergency care;
Specific hospitals – centralising some services at Pinderfields raises issues about capacity in that hospital and concerns about the long term viability of Dewsbury hospital.
On July 2, a meeting of various organisations and patient and public representatives will take place to review the feedback and look at the implications of the proposals.
The recommendations made at that meeting will be publish in early July.
North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group chairman Dr David Kelly said: “We have heard many strong views during the consultation, all of which are reflected in this report, and we are very grateful to everyone who took part. We will now be looking closely at the findings, to see what the impact should be on the original proposals, before we make any decision.”
They will be taken to the CCGs for North Kirklees and Wakefield on July 25 when a decision will be made about whether the proposals should move to the next stage.
The meeting will be open to the public and details are to be announced nearer the time.
Visit www.meetingthechallenge.co.uk to read the full feedback report.