OUTRAGED Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett is meeting with newly -appointed NHS bosses tomorrow to demand action is taken to re-open the A&E department at Pontefract Hospital.
Mr Trickett, along with Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, will put pressure on Mid Yorkshire Hospital’s NHS Trust’s bosses to resolve what they call four ‘key areas’:
l Re-open Pontefract A&E overnight
l Stop patients from the Pontefract area being sent out of the District to Dewsbury Hospital
l Bring services back to Pontefract that were promised to be provided at Pontefract
l Re-open wards one and two which have been mothballed but could provide extra beds for patients.
This will be one of many twice-monthly meetings.
Mr Trickett said: “The closure is having a major effect on everybody in our area and it needs to be sorted out.
“We will keep the pressure on at these meetings to get the department re-opened. It’s just not acceptable the amount of time it is taking.”
He said he would fight to get the issue resolved as soon as he could.
The Mid Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust board voted to shut A&E from 10pm until 8am last October after hearing it did not have enough doctors to safely staff its three emergency departments in Pontefract, Wakefield and Dewsbury.
The trust has claimed there is a national shortage of emergency middle grade rota staff but the Department of Health said the number of doctors specialising in emergency medicine had increased.
More than 14,000 residents signed a petition - started by the MPs - against the closure.
Ms Cooper said: “The new management are welcome because we badly need a fresh start and an end to the foot dragging at PGI. They must take urgent action to reopen A&E but also to meet the other promises we were made - for more beds and services at Pontefract and to stop sending patients from here to Dewsbury.”