MPs Yvette Cooper and Jon Trickett have welcomed assurances on the future of Pontefract Hospital’s A&E as part of a major consultation.
The pair had been concerned at suggestions there would be a further downgrading of A&E as part of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Meeting the Challenge review.
However, the review – which has just started a three-month consultation – states Pontefract will retain a 24-hour A&E, seven days a week, with consultant-led care Mondays to Fridays 9am to 5pm.
Ms Cooper said: “This is an important step forward compared to the board discussion in January.
“We called for a guarantee that Pontefract A&E would not be downgraded to a GP service and the trust has now promised it will stay consultatn-led.
“I’m glad they have listened to local people – 14,000 people who signed our petition last year against the closure of A&E.
“But I’m still very concerned about the plans to cut 200 beds across the district. We know there aren’t community services in place to cope if hospital beds are cut. We need to campaign hard to keep the beds and services we need.”
Mr Trickett added: “The announcement about A&E is a welcome move in the right direction. As such, it marks a victory for people power because so many resident refused to accept the decision to downgrade our hospital.
“I cannot accept that you can improve the NHS locally by drastic reductions in hospital beds while not doing more to improve health services in the community. We all need to keep on campaigning.”
Under the consultation, Pinderfields would become an acute and complex treatment centre, with elective, outpatients and rehabilitation services at Pontefract and Dewsbury.
The next roadshows take place about the changes at Featherstone Market car park on Station Lane on Thursday March 28 from 9am to 4pm, at on Tuesday April 9 at Pontefract Hospital, from 9am to 4pm, where people can find out more about the proposals and give their response.