Reopen ‘mothballed’ wards plea

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STRANGE how things come back to haunt you.

I recall standing, microphone in hand, at that stormy meeting in the town hall, Pontefract, to raise the question of bed numbers at PGI.

The meeting at which the townspeople finally said “enough is enough” and Lord Lofthouse told the audience that in 50 years of political service he had never been in an atmosphere like it.

In the Express March 22 edition, Yvette Cooper MP questioned Stephen Eames on why the trust, in order to address the bed shortage, did not make available the remaining, “mothballed” wards that still exist on southside and the old PGI site.

Indeed, one must speculate why these buildings were not demolished, along with what was once a perfectly substantial 1960s build. One can only suppose and anticipate that the trust intends to recomission them in time to provide more beds.

The Five Towns’ public is well aware of the situation that a shortage of beds at Pinderfields and Pontefract has positioned the Mid Yorkshire Trust in meltdown, placing vital regional specialist services in jeopardy.

I therefore raise again the point I made to Julia Squire on that memorable night – “all is not lost, not while wards and theatre space remain untouched on the Pontefract site. The reopening of them would relieve the present impasse for the trust and, if nothing else, help to raise their status on the district’s east side”.

Surely, what was said on that unforgettable night and what our MP is now saying is simple, common sense logic.

ROGER ELLIS

Mayor’s Walk

Pontefract