Would-be MP tells of hospital fears

NHS PROMISE Andy Burnham was told of concers at Dewsbury Hospital.
NHS PROMISE Andy Burnham was told of concers at Dewsbury Hospital.

Batley and Spen parliamentary hopeful Jo Cox has told the shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham of her concerns over the future of Dewsbury and District Hospital.

During the meeting Mr Burnham reiterated Labour’s promise to repeal the Health and Social Care Act, which the party says has opened the way for the “wholesale privatisation” of the NHS.

Mr Burnham was briefed about the downgrade of Dewsbury hospital and Mrs Cox’s concerns over GP waiting times, and he agreed to visit the area.

The planned reorganisation by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust was given the go-ahead by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in March. It means there will be changes to its A&E and maternity departments and the loss of its children’s ward.

Mrs Cox said: “Labour must react robustly and decisively to the way the government has allowed private providers to completely hijack our NHS for profit. Repealing the act is a great start. But it is key that we also focus on securing the future of Dewsbury hospital and Andy was very interested in our campaign.

“People across Batley and Spen are deeply concerned about the Trust’s plans. Cutting hospital services before community provision, home care and the whole Care Closer to Home agenda are geared up is a recipe for disaster.We want the downgrade of Dewsbury to be put on hold so that the Trust can reconsider its decision. When NHS England has concerns, health service staff have concerns and local people have concerns the Trust must pay attention.”