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MP highlights issues facing hospital trust during parliamentary debate

Yvette Cooper MP
Yvette Cooper MP

Images of patients lying on the floor at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield were raised in an ‘NHS winter crisis’ discussion in parliament.

Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton MP Yvette Cooper referred to the photographs, as she highlighted issues facing Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust in the House of Commons last Monday.

The pictures were released by Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin on January 4, after she received them from an anonymous constituent. They show a man in a hospital gown lying in a corridor, next to an empty wheeled chair, and another on the floor resting his head on a rolled up coat.

Addressing health minister Philip Dunne, Ms Cooper said: “The minister will have seen the images of patients at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust sleeping on the floor because they could not even get a trolley, never mind a bed.

“We have had over 95 per cent bed occupancy rates, a shortfall of over 200 nursing vacancies, and will have a multimillion-pound budget shortfall by the end of this year.” Mr Dunne said the area had received £3.3m to help cope with winter pressures and referenced the government’s October announcement that it planned to increase the number of nurse training places. David Melia, director of nursing and quality at Mid Yorkshire, said the trust experienced “unprecedented” demand on its emergency departments on January 2, when the Pinderfields photographs were taken. He said the trust had no complaints about the care of the two patients, who may have chosen to lie down, as seats were provided”.