The findings of a national review into how A&E services should be organised in future have been welcomed by our local hospital trust.
Sir Bruce Keogh, the national medical director of NHS England, published a report on the first stage of his review of emergency and urgent care across the country yesterday.
He made five recommendations in the Transforming Urgent and Emergency Care Services in England report.
They include a new two-tier system for hospital emergency departments with around 40 to 70 major emergency centres in England.
The major centres would be able to assess and treat patients, as well as providing highly specialist services.
The remaining hospitals would have emergency centres capable of assessing and beginning treatment for all patients, and safely transferring them when necessary.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust chief executive Stephen Eames said: “The recommendations made by Sir Bruce in this report are exactly what we are trying to achieve on the ground here in Wakefield and North Kirklees.
“By introducing two types of A&E, we can ensure people have access to the right level of care in the right place, seven days a week.”
The trust wants to make Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield its specialist centre for emergency care.
Dewsbury’s A&E department would still have consultant-led A&E care for patients who walk in and some patients brought in by ambulance, but would not treat the most seriously ill emergency patients.
The proposals are part of a wider reorganisation of services, which would also see some maternity and children’s services moved to Wakefield.
They have been referred to the Secretary of State amid concerns from local councillors that they are not in the best interest of patients.
More than 30,000 people also signed a petition opposing any reduction in services at Dewsbury.