Consultation on controversial changes at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust closes

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A public consultation on plans to centralise parts of the district’s hospital services has closed.

Health chiefs are considering a reorganisation which includes shifting critically-ill and injured patients from Pontefract and Dewsbury to Pinderfields.

Under the £38m scheme, Pontefract and Dewsbury would have units providing urgent care for minor injures, while Pinderfields would keep its consultant-led A&E and treat more emergencies.

Dewsbury would also lose its consultant-led maternity unit as complex births are transferred to Pinderfields.

During a consultation period which ran from May 4 to May 31, leaflets were sent to 242,000 households and eight public meetings and 40 roadshows were held.

Drop-in sessions took place with senior consultants at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, and a NHS staff ran a telephone survey of 1,000 people.

NHS bosses said 1,000 e-mails were received and responded to and people were also invited to comment on the plans using social media.

Now the responses to the consultation will be analysed by independent organisation The Campaign Company before a report is made public in late June.

Dr Phillip Earnshaw, chairman of the NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, which took control of the district’s health service budget at the end of March, said: “I am grateful to everyone who has taken part and told us their views.

“We will take full account of all the feedback we have received during this process.”

Public sector union Unison and Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood are among critics of the proposals, which it is feared will leave some patients with too far to travel for treatment.

Mr Wood has called for the plans to be referred to the Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for health.

But district health bosses have said the changes aim to save more lives, provide better care and services and help patients have the best recovery possible.