Hospital security shake-up scrapped

Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital
Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital

A planned shake-up of NHS jobs which would have left Pontefract Hospital with no security guards has been scrapped.

Public sector union Unison claimed the proposals would have meant security guards were based only at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, with staff having to travel to Pontefract to respond to incidents.

But bosses at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust this week said the plans had been rejected.

Stephen Eames, the trust’s chief executive, said: “I can confirm the trust rejected proposals to remove Pontefract-based security as part of the ongoing tendering process for the service.

“Ensuring staff and patient safety is paramount and I can confirm a 24/7 security presence will remain at the hospital. The final decision on the precise shape of the service will be confirmed later next month.”

Unison’s branch secretary, Adrian O’Malley, said the proposals would have seen security staff at Pinderfields Hospital covering the Pontefract site with a 50-minute response time.

Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper said: “I contacted the trust as soon as I heard about this crazy idea of ditching security staff at Pontefract. It would have been bad for patients and staff - especially at night, when we’ve fought so hard to keep 24 hour A&E in place.

“I’m very glad the trust have seen sense - but it’s astonishing anyone ever thought this was a good idea in the first place.”