Shake-up at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust referred to health secretary Jeremy Hunt

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A controversial reorganisation of hospital services will be referred to health secretary Jeremy Hunt over fears it will not benefit patients.

The Wakefield and Kirklees joint health scrutiny committee rejected plans to centralise A&E and maternity services at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust at a meeting today.

An independent review of the proposals could be carried out after the watchdog voted to ask Mr Hunt to intervene.

Under the proposals, Dewsbury and District Hospital would lose its consultant-led A&E department, with critically-ill and injured patients taken to Pinderfields.

Dewsbury would also lose its consultant-led maternity unit as high-risk births are also transferred to Pinderfields.

Fears have been raised that Pinderfields would struggle to cope with the extra patients and that some patients would have too far to travel for treatment.

Coun Liz Smaje told the meeting: “I have significant concerns about many aspects of what has been put forward.”

But NHS bosses say the plan will provide safer treatment and a more secure future for Mid Yorkshire, which has faced multi-million pound debts in recent years.

Stephen Eames, chief executive of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, said: “I passionately believe that this is the best thing to do for our patients and our community.”

The committee passed a resolution saying it was not confident the plan was in the best interests of the local population.

For more on the story, see this week’s paper.