Public meetings over hospital changes

Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital
Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital
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TWO public meetings will take place next week to give patients and the public the chance to find out more about proposals to move eye care and orthopaedics to Pontefract Hospital.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, wants to move services currently provided at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield to Pontefract to make better use of its facilities, which interim trust chief executive Stephen Eames has admitted is ‘under-used’ at present.

It is also proposing to move neurological rehabilitation services from Pinderfields to Dewsbury Hospital.

The meetings take place at Pontefract Town Hall on Wednesday, August 8 and Wakefield Town Hall on Thursday, August 9, both start at 6.30pm.

Mr Eames said: “We want to develop centres of excellence in eye care, orthopaedics and rehabilitation. The changes we are proposing will help us to achieve this.

“We also want to make sure our services are more efficient, while improving patient care, so need to make sure we make the best use of all three hospitals.”

The proposals would see glaucoma, medical retina and cataract services treated at Pontefract, while the macular degeneration service currently at Wakefield’s Clayton Hospital – which is due to close – would move to Pinderfields. Mr Eames said the trust hoped to get the service running in Pontefract by the end of this year.

If the orthopaedic proposal is approved, planned inpatient services would move to Pontefract, including first time hip and knee replacement operations and upper limb surgery early next year. Unplanned, children’s services and more complex operations will still take place at Pinderfields.

Patients in the Dewsbury area would have the option to be treated at Dewsbury Hospital.

Mike Potts, chief executive of primary care trust NHS Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield District, said: “These meetings are an important opportunity for us to hear what patients and the public think about the changes being proposed and what we need to do to ensure the best possible services are provided, so we hope as many people as possible will attend.”

Details of the proposed changes with surveys to return to the trust can be found online at www.kirklees.nhs.uk/hospitalchanges and printed copies are available in libraries, community centres, council offices, GP surgeries and hospitals. Copies can also be ordered from Nick Molyneux at nick.molyneux@kirklees.nhs.uk or call 01484 464079.

The closing date for comments is August 16.