‘A&E services need reopening’

Mary Creagh, Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper and Jon Trickett are meeting Mid Yorkshire trust bosses over serious concerns for patients amid spending cuts
Mary Creagh, Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper and Jon Trickett are meeting Mid Yorkshire trust bosses over serious concerns for patients amid spending cuts
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ACTION was demanded on hospital accident and emergency services when MPs met NHS bosses.

MPs Ed Balls, Mary Creagh, Yvette Cooper and Jon Trickett fear the overnight closure of Pontefract A&E is piling too much pressure on Pinderfields Hospital.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust closed the department temporarily from 10pm-8am, saying it was in the interest of safety because of a shortage of doctors, and Pontefract A&E will reopen overnight as soon as enough doctors are recruited.

But the MPs fear patient safety is at risk and called for the trust and government health bosses to do more to solve the problem at last Friday’s meeting.

Hemsworth MP Mr Trickett said after the meeting: “We were told this closure is temporary and I take that to mean a short period of time. I said I don’t want to hear ‘can’t do’. I want a ‘can do’ attitude.”

Wakefield MP Ms Creagh said she was seeking assurances that delays would not be caused at Pinderfields A&E.

She said: “People need to be sure that Pinderfields can cope with the Christmas rush when doctors’ surgeries are closed and people are falling sick from flu.”

Normanton MP Ms Cooper said: “We’ve made very clear to health ministers that they can’t turn a blind eye to this and they need to do their bit to help reopen A&E.”

Trust bosses have insisted the closure was not to save cash, despite facing £60m of budget cuts over the next two years.

Medical director Tim Hemdra said a review was underway to find ways of reopening A&E.

He said: “This was brought about by a serious shortage of middle grade doctors, which would have put patient safety at risk.”