Campaign group to demonstrate against Dewsbury hospital changes

FRESH DEMO Coun Karen Rowling, from Save Dewsbury Hospital, and campaigners will meet in front of Dewsbury town hall.
FRESH DEMO Coun Karen Rowling, from Save Dewsbury Hospital, and campaigners will meet in front of Dewsbury town hall.

A demonstration against the downgrading of services at Dewsbury and District Hospital will take place tomorrow (Thursday).

Save Dewsbury Hospital have organised the demo in front of the town hall at 9am following the decision by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt not to review the proposals.

It means the number of beds at the hospital being cut from 360 to 110, the most serious emergency cases going to Wakefield’s Pinderfields Hospital, the maternity unit being downgraded to a midwife-led unit with no consultant care and the closure of the children’s ward.

The demonstration will take place while the Mid Yorkshire Hosiptal’s Trust board has a meeting in the town hall to discuss how to push forward with their plans.

A statement from the group said: “We are determined to keep fighting these proposals and we will continue to hold the trust to account. We specifically need a firm commitment from the trust and the Clinical Commissioning Group’s regarding provision for Care Closer to Home.”

An independent review panel stated that better community care must be developed before services move to Pinderfields, but the group said there was not yet enough evidence that this was in place.

They added: “We are also consulting with lawyers about the possibility of a judicial review to legally challenge this verdict. We will make a decision on whether to proceed with that in the coming days and weeks. We are also looking at the feasibility of other challenges, legal and otherwise, both on our own and by joining with other groups and individuals.”

Meanwhile, the leader of the Conservatives at Kirklees Council is asking councillors to unite against the changes.

Coun Robert Light and his deputy Coun David Hall have submitted a motion ahead of tonight’s full council meeting.

It asks councillors to call upon Mr Hunt to review his decision, request that the council’s chief executive Adrian Lythgo arrange a cross party delegation to put the council’s case to the Secretary of State, and call upon the health and wellbeing board to develop a plan to withdraw the hospital from the Mid Yorkshire Trust.