Labour MPs Jo Cox and Paula Sherriff spoke out in Parliament last night in defence of Dewsbury & District Hospital.
Mrs Cox, whose Batley & Spen constituency is home to the hospital, spoke during a debate secured by Ms Sherriff, the Dewsbury MP, about staffing in the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Paying tribute to the staff at the hospital, Mrs Cox said: “I congratulate my honourable friend and neighbour on securing this critical debate on our local hospital.
“I back her in what she says and recognise that doctors and nurses and other staff at the hospital have been working in crisis mode for 15 months now. It is difficult to overstate how hard it must be for staff to go to work every day, knowing that they will miss key targets and not be able to give the care and attention that they so want to give.”
Mrs Cox went on to underline that no matter how often the government tries to pass the buck to Mid Yorkshire, ministers had to take some responsibility for the problems in the Trust.
“They have cut public health funding, and there is a social care crisis locally and problems with the junior doctors contract. The Government must take responsibility for this crisis and not pass the buck to an embattled NHS trust,” said Mrs Cox.
During the debate, which Health minister Ben Gummer MP responded to, Mrs Cox asked the Government directly if now was the time to proceed with the planned downgrade.
“As the Minister will be aware, Mid Yorkshire has the third highest number of admittances to A&E in the country,” she said.
“In that context, I share the concern of my honourable friend the Member for Dewsbury about the planned reorganisation and downgrade of the Dewsbury hospital.
“It is a serious matter for local residents and some of my constituents. It would be wonderful to have a commitment further to discuss whether now is the time to move forward with that plan.”
You can watch the full debate here or you can read the Official Report here