From 6th August, Dewsbury acute heart patients will trek to Pinderfields

At a recent North Kirklees NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (‘For longer, healthier, happier lives!’) event in Batley, Dr David Kelly, the Chair, revealed that Dewsbury Hospital is not going to have a cardiology (heart) department as he had previously intimated, or the attendant emergency facilities.

Cardiology will be at Pinderfields after all. And there will be no High Dependency Unit (HDU) or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Dewsbury and District Hospital (DDH)

Dewsbury Hospital now only has an Urgent Care Centre, not a “blue light” A&E centre

A member of North Kirklees NHS Support Group said,

“Dr David Kelly and North Kirklees CCG should be honest with patients and say the A&E at DDH is now an ‘urgent care centre’. It no longer deals with surgical emergencies and acute medicine, like it did until now. But part of the CCG’s remit is to push through the cuts agenda, dressed up as improvement.

“There is still an A&E consultant at DDH. There is a short stay unit (SSU) for elderly patients to be admitted, so it is still in transition and they still have wards in the Bronte tower, which will be defunct when the change has finished. They dare not do too much before Oct 1st when the Locala Care Closer To Home contract comes into effect.”

North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (NK CCG) told the local news website Plain Speaker that although DDH will have 24/7 full resuscitation facilities available to support anyone who is seriously ill, it will transfer patients to “appropriate facilities” elsewhere if they need to be admitted for further treatment:

“Patients with the most serious and life threatening conditions will be taken to Pinderfields General Hospital via ambulance, and Pinderfields Hospital will eventually be the centre for urgent and complex care for all patients.”

From Thursday 6 August, patients who attend the A&E at Dewsbury and District Hospital with serious heart conditions such as heart attacks or very slow or very fast heart beats will be transferred the same day to the specialist Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at Pinderfields.

Patients with less serious cardiac conditions or those who do not need specialist inpatient care will either be treated and admitted at Dewsbury and District Hospital, or discharged and asked to attend appointments and clinics as an outpatient.

Up until 6 August, patients who needed specialist diagnostics or inpatient treatment waited in an inpatient bed in Dewsbury Hospital before being transferred to Pinderfields once their procedure was booked, which is sometimes days later.

Will heart patients who’ve been sent home to wait until they can have their “procedure” at Pinderfields be as safe as they would be as an inpatient at Dewsbury Hospital?

Dewsbury broken bone patients are redirected to Pinderfields, where the orthopoedic department now lacks capacity

Dewsbury people with complicated or hand bone breaks are redirected to Pinders and have been for a long time.

However there are now problems of lack of capacity at Pinderfields’ orthopoedic department.

N. Kirklees Support the NHS campaigners have found there are 3 broken bones consultants on duty in Pinders but not enough room in the waiting room to accommodate patients for these 3 consultants, so they have to wait in a ‘cupboard’, a windowless room in DDH, until a ‘chair’ at Pinders is available.

And people with non-emergency thigh bone breaks who are taken to Pinders have to wait until the surgeon’s ‘theatre time’ ie a week , if admitted on Thursday night as the surgeons’ slots are Thursday and Friday. Non-emergency means the bone is not sticking through the skin!

A North Kirklees Support the NHS campaigner said,

“The CCG is adamant that you can get a break potted up at DDH but I have not heard of this for ages. It will need to be a really simple break, but a GP is now crepe bandaging some breaks in feet to avoid sending people to hospital!”

No acute children’s service at Dewsbury Hospital

Really poorly children who need to be in hospital for longer are also transferred from Dewsbury to Pinderfields, although most children who need further observation and treatment are treated in DDH.

GPs and some patients hail the new DDH children’s assessment centre as a great success. It is next to Dewsbury A&E/urgent care centre and aims to treat sick or injured children more quickly, so that more children will be able to go home without needing to stay overnight in hospital.

But other patients with really poorly children who need to be in hospital for longer are not pleased at having to trek to Pinderfields and stay there.

DDH’s new emergency ambulatory day care unit  is for medical patients who need a quick diagnosis and treatment and can potentially be treated without the need for admission to a hospital bed. The downside of the day care unit is that it is sending patients home or to care homes at 11pm or midnight.

North Kirklees CCG said,

“Dewsbury & District Hospital is being turned into a planned care hospital and this process is still underway.”

At a recent Dewsbury NHS campaigners’ workshop on the government’s plans to privatise the NHS, retired surgeon Anna Athow explained that turning Dewsbury Hospital into a planned care hospital with an Urgent Care Centre is about imposing ‘new models of care’ on the NHS,  that copy American private health insurance companies’ systems.  The government and its quango NHS England  (that is responsible for privatising the NHS through overseeing the competitive tendering of NHS services) aim to complete the process of privatising the NHS by 2020, in line with NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.

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