Changes at trust

Stephen Eames.
Stephen Eames.
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THOUSANDS more hospital patients will be treated in Pontefract under proposals which went out to consultation this week.

Patients are invited to have their say on plans to move eye care services and orthopaedic operations like hip and knee replacements into Pontefract Hospital.

Under the plans, the treatment of glaucoma, medical retina and cataract services would move from Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield to Pontefract in the autumn. The ophthalmology service treats around 2,500 eye patients a year.

Orthopaedics would move from Pinderfields to Pontefract from early 2013.

The trust is also planning to move care for people with neurological problems from brain injuries, strokes, spinal problems and nerve conditions to Dewsbury and District Hospital from September.

Stephen Eames, Mid Yorkshire’s interim chief executive, said the changes would make better use of the trust’s hospital buildings. He said: “These are very important changes we are proposing and will pave the way for us to develop centres of excellence in ophthalmology, orthopaedics and neuro-rehabilitation.”

Trust bosses said the changes to orthopaedics would boost the trust’s income by reducing the need for operations being carried out in the private sector. Of 860 knee and hip replacements, 431 were carried out at independent hospitals last year. The trust expected to spend £1.5m on orthopaedic operations in independent hospitals this year.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Murti Gollapudi said: “The changes will reduce the inconvenience for people travelling out of the area to have orthopaedic procedures.”

Under the plans, some specialist orthopaedic work would still be done at Pinderfields, including second knee and hip replacements. The treatment of an eye condition called macular degeneration would move from Wakefield’s Clayton Hospital, which is due to close, to Pinderfields.

A public consultation on the plans ends on August 16.