I read with interest in the Wakefield Express on January 11 that A&E departments at Dewsbury and Pontefract Hospitals are to be downgraded and facilities moved to Pinderfields, Wakefield.
My immediate thoughts were that I agreed with Yvette Cooper, who said that his would leave a very busy Pinderfields struggling to cope with the extra workload.
Unfortunately this view has only been strengthened by my visit to Pinderfields A&E department.
My 85-year-old father suffered a cut to the hand and we arrived at A&E at 4.30pm.
We were seen promptly and advised by a doctor that he would like my father to be seen on the surgical ward for further assessment. Then the wait began.
After an hour we were advised by a nurse that there were no porters available to transfer my father to the surgical ward, but as soon as one was, he would be moved.
A porter appeared an hour later at around 7.30pm.
There then followed a three-hour wait on a chair in the surgical ward for a doctor. Eventually, the doctor arrived and immediately confirmed that a few stitches were required.
Once stitched and medication was received from the pharmacy, we left the hospital at 11.30pm. Seven hours for seven stitches!
How confident should we be that, when the proposed changes take place, the already pressurised A&E department at Pinderfields will be supported and staffed to the required levels?
Mr B Abel
I am sorry that Mr Abel experienced a delay in receiving his treatment. We have been consistently meeting national emergency care targets. Our emergency services are currently very busy though as we are seeing large numbers of patients requiring the highest level of emergency care.
This unfortunately can mean that some patients may experience longer delays than normal.
It is however important that patients are fully assessed, by a specialist where required, before they are treated.
In the proposed plans there will be an increased number of specialists on site which will mean reduced waiting times.
I must stress that the changes that we are proposing involve a major review of all our services (not just emergency departments) to make sure that we can save more lives and improve outcomes for our patients not just now but for the future.
A public consultation regarding the changes will start in March and we will keep readers informed about opportunities to get involved.
Readers can also find out more and receive updates by contacting Your Health Your Say, NHS Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield District, Freepost RSHB-GRJU-ALSL, Broad Lea House, Dyson Wood Way, Huddersfield HD2 1GZ, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone to 01924 317651.
Interim Chief Executive
The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust