Jobs saved in baby care shake-up

Pinderfields Hospital general view
Pinderfields Hospital general view

Redundancies have been avoided in a restructure of neonatal units at local hospitals.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust started a consultation in the summer over plans to reduce the number of nursing jobs in Pinderfields and Dewsbury from 60 to 50.

The number of special care baby cots at Dewsbury will also reduce from 12 to eight under planned changes to the service.

Now trust bosses have decide not to make staff redundant after a 45-day consultation, which was extended until the end of August, closed.

Alison Ward, the trust’s associate director of nursing for the division of integrated care, said: “As a result of this consultation, we are not planning to reduce the number of band five nursing staff through any programme of redundancy.

“We will instead adjust the workforce as staff either leave voluntarily or progress in their careers.

“As part of our proposals we are creating additional senior posts in the neonatal service which represents a good opportunity for some of the band five staff to advance.”

Under the proposals, a four-bed transition care unit where mums and babies can stay together to encourage bonding and breastfeeding will be opened at Dewsbury.

Mrs Ward said ratio of staff to babies would remain the same as it is currently.

She said “The purpose of transitional care is to enable mothers and babies to stay together when previously they would have been separated because the baby would have had to be in the special care baby unit.

“The transitional care unit will have staff with specific competencies in caring for babies who are low risk, but do not require intensive care input.”

Mid Yorkshire is also planning separate changes to maternity and accident and emergency services under its Meeting the Challenge proposals.

The plan was referred to the secretary of state for health by the Wakefield and Kirklees joint health scrutiny committee on October 9 as it had concerns the plans would not work.