In-patient surgery Dewsbury Hospital suspended amid overcrowding, but operations still on at Pinderfields and Pontefract

All in-patient surgery has been suspended at Dewsbury Hospital for at least three weeks because of overcrowding.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 10:40 am
Dewsbury Hospital

The Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust, which runs the site, has made the decision because of overcrowding and a serious shortage of beds.

The trust, which also oversees Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals, reported last month that it had recently had its "busiest month ever" in A&E.

Hospitals across the country are struggling to cope with high attendances at emergency departments, with the military having been called in to help ambulance services in other parts of the country.

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Most planned surgery will continue at Pinderfields (pictured) and Pontefract Hospitals.

However, most in-patient surgery - where people stay in hospital for one night or more - will continue at Pinderfields and Pontefract.

Day surgery meanwhile, where patients are discharged shortly after their operation, will continue at Dewsbury Hospital.

In an email to trust staff from the chief executive, the contents of which were reported by the Independent on Sunday, Martin Barkley said that some wards would be converted to take sick patients, in a bid to relieve the pressure.

Mr Barkley reportedly wrote: "It is with regret that this decision has had to be made given that it will result in less patients receiving surgical treatment, slowing down our progress on reducing waiting times.

Trust chief executive Martin Barkley

"However, the extreme pressure on beds has to be reduced and quickly.

"The trust consistently has between 25 and 50 patients waiting for a bed at any one time at Pinderfields emergency department, causing serious overcrowding and long delays (and) contributing to an unacceptable patient and staff experience."

The trust was caring for 77 Covid patients on Monday, a small rise from the week before.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Barkley said: "While services remain busy and we continue to see increased demand as a direct result of the pandemic, day surgery will continue at Dewsbury Hospital and the vast majority of routine operations will be carried out Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals.

"Our staff are working hard to continue to provide high quality and timely care to all their patients and I would urge anyone who needs urgent care to go to NHS 111 online or call 111 so that you can be signposted to the best option for your needs."

Local Democracy Reporting Service