YOUNGSTERS receiving treatment at Pinderfields Hospital’s purpose-built children’s ward are being shipped out to a geriatric ward – to make more space for adult patients.
As reported in the Express, bosses at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have admitted that more patients than expected are turning up for treatment at the hospital- leaving staff struggling to cope.
The trust will be providing 76 more beds at Dewsbury and District Hospital to cope with demand – but say using the 48-bed children’s ward as an adult ward will create extra capacity to deal with the bed crisis.
But hospital staff, who waited years for the new facilities, are outraged at the move, which will see the children’s ward moved to a smaller, 26-bed, geriatric ward.
One member of staff, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s cutting our bed space in half. They’ve said it’s only temporary but we’ve heard that before. They’ve told us it is to provide more bed space, but why do the children have to suffer? It’s bad planning.
“Everybody is very concerned but we’re not getting anywhere with the trust. They’ve told us not to talk to the press, that it needs to be sorted internally, but unless the parents get to know about this it won’t get sorted.
“We’ve waited so long for the new facilities we don’t want them to be taken away.”
The children’s ward was specifically designed to meet the needs of children of different ages, with beds for parents to stay overnight next to their child. The outpatient children’s centre is unaffected by the changes.
Lynne Hall-Bentley, associate director of operations, said the change was temporary.
She said: “At this time of year, demand for children’s care is at its lowest and we are currently only seeing around half the beds in our children’s ward in use, whereas our adult wards are extremely busy, so we are making the best use of our ward areas at Pinderfields to help us meet the rising demand for adult hospital care and ensure that patients with urgent needs can be cared for appropriately.
“We are committed to moving the children’s ward back to the dedicated facilities within there next few months.”