Future of town’s hospital in doubt

Yvette Cooper MP with Elaine Shelton, UNISON, and Sarah Gossop, Community Physchiatric nurse, during her visit to Casleford and Normanton Hospital.  28 June 2013.'Picture Bruce Rollinson
Yvette Cooper MP with Elaine Shelton, UNISON, and Sarah Gossop, Community Physchiatric nurse, during her visit to Casleford and Normanton Hospital. 28 June 2013.'Picture Bruce Rollinson

The future of Castleford and Normanton District Hospital has been thrown into doubt after a hospital trust plans to stop using the site.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has given notice that it plans to move its services out of the site, to other locations in the district.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides community and mental health services and which owns the hospital, is now reviewing its use of the site.

Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper, who visited the hospital on Friday to mark the 65th anniversary of the NHS, said she was concerned about the news.

She said: “Castleford and Normanton District Hospital has a long history of proviing local services for people across the area. The staff do a great job and it’s really convenient for people in the Five Towns to get to.

“I’m worried that services are being taken out of Castleford with no proper consultation, as this move hasn’t been discussed in the latest reconfiguration plans.

“Delivering services closer to home is important, but patients need guarantees that the services will still be genuinely local and of the same quality.”

Dr Karen Stone, divisional clinical director for integrated care at Mid Yorkshire, said the decision to leave Castleford Hospital was part of a plan to carry out more of its work from locations in the community.

She said: “This will not affect the way people receive their care, as the clinical staff based at Castleford see patients in a variety of places, such as people’s homes, GP practices and family centres.

“However, it will improve our services by enabling us to work together with other organisations, including healthcare providers and the local authority to bring care closer to home.”

She added the trust is finalising plans for where it proposes to relocate staff affected by the change, which will take place in the coming months.

A foundation trust spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing our use of the site as part of our overall estates strategy. This is about ensuring we provide the best possible accommodation for services and offer the best possible access to them.”