AN angry patient confronted health chiefs about proposals to change A&E services at Dewsbury and District Hospital.
Malcolm Brooke told NHS bosses at Tuesday’s Batley, Birstall and Birkenshaw Area Committee meeting that Dewsbury’s A&E department saved his life when he had complications following surgery on his knee.
The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust gave a presentation at the meeting on the two options it is considering for changes to various services across its sites.
Dewsbury would keep a full A&E department under one option, but would have an urgent care centre for minor illnesses and injuries only under the second.
Mr Brooke told the meeting that he collapsed 12 days after his operation due blood clots that had formed near his lungs. He said the ambulance crew wanted to drive to Pinderfields’ A&E, but Mr Brooke’s son insisted he was taken to Dewsbury, just minutes away from his home.
Doctors were able to detect the clots and treat them and afterwards the 69-year-old asked a doctor if he would have survived if he had been taken to Pinderfields Hospital instead.
“He smiled and said ‘You definitely took the right option’,” he told the meeting. “Time is of the essence in these cases.”
Mr Brooke, of Stock Hill Street, Dewsbury, said he could understand the need for cutbacks but said health bosses should be “very, very careful” when deciding about Dewsbury’s A&E department.
“It is a life or death situation in some cases,” he said. “In 15 to 20 minutes you should be there and getting treatment, that’s from the 999 call to getting treated.”
Dr Simon Enright, a consultant and clinical advisor for the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, said that as well as assessing injuries, A&E was also about having specialists to give the right treatment - meaning ambulance crews decide whether Dewsbury or Pinderfields would be best for each patient.
“The issue is having enough specialists in a hospital so you can offer that specialist in any given category 24 hours a day,” he said.
“You wouldn’t want to go to Dewsbury and be hit or miss as to whether that particular specialist is on at that time.”