Tag Archives: Health

MPs meet Health minister about DDH downgrade

Jo Cox and Paula Sherriff at Dewsbury & District HospitalMPs Paula Sherriff and Jo Cox met with Health Minister Ben Gummer last night to raise concerns about plans to downgrade Dewsbury & District Hospital.

Reconfiguration plans by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust would see services centralised at Pinderfields and include the downgrade of Dewsbury’s A&E, which would cease to be consultant-led.

The meeting at the Department of Health was secured by the Labour MPs after news emerged that the Trust wanted to bring its plans forward by 12 months.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff, a former health worker and member of the Health select committee, said:

“This is the first time any Health minister has met local MPs to discuss the planned downgrade of Dewsbury & District Hospital and it was a very productive and positive meeting.

“The minister listened to all the concerns Jo and I raised. He has promised to convene a further meeting with us and the leaders of the Trust so that he can visit and assess for himself what is happening with this reconfiguration and ensure there is no adverse impact on our constituents.”

Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox, who was born at the hospital at Staincliffe, said:

“Paula and I know how much this issue worries and upsets everyone who relies on our hospital. This meeting gave us the chance to raise our concerns about many aspects of the reconfiguration and downgrade – including the way it is being rolled out and serious concerns about a vacuum of leadership.

“If the downgrade fails we want assurances from the minister that he will step in and this meeting suggests we have taken the first steps towards achieving that.”

Miss Sherriff and Mrs Cox raised concerns about:

  • The roll out of the reconfiguration and Closer to Home agenda, the implications of the downgrade and the accelerated process.
  • Losing the CCG chief executive to retirement at the same time as the Trust chief exec goes part time to split his time with a Trust in Cumbria.
  • Lack of regional planning and joined up thinking, and the potential knock on effect from the proposed closure of the A&E at Hudderfield Royal Infirmary.
  • The risk of further, future reconfiguration.
  • Communication with the public and patients about the impact of the changes, including the need for tailored, interactive workshops in individual neighbourhoods.
  • Transport, including the challenges Yorkshire Ambulance Service face.

“Hello, my name is… Jo” – MP backs NHS campaign

Jo Cox meets the Inreach team at Dewsbury and District Hospital

Jo Cox meets the Inreach team at Dewsbury and District Hospital

Patients at Dewsbury and District Hospital have joined MP Jo Cox in saluting a campaign called, “Hello, my name is…”

Created by Pinderfields consultant and cancer patient Dr Kate Granger, the initiative encourages NHS staff to pledge to always introduce themselves to patients, relatives and visitors.

And the campaign has been greeted with support from Dewsbury patients – with 87% telling a survey they felt introducing yourselves to patients properly was either important or very important.

Pioneered by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust “Hello, my name is…” has since been picked-up by 90 NHS organisations across the country and been endorsed by everyone from the Scottish Government to Sir Bob Geldof.

Mrs Cox said: “Some of the best ideas are also the simplest and here we have a great idea and our local NHS leading the way.

“Being in hospital can be a difficult, often traumatic, experience. Improving the way patients and staff relate to each other can make all the difference.”

During her latest visit, Jo met up with pledgers from Dewsbury and District Hospital’s Inreach team. With specialist skills in the care of older people and those with complex needs, the team makes vital assessments of patients’ physical, psychological and social needs helping to prevent delays in their treatment and aid a safe discharge from hospital.

Inreach has unique links with organisations such as Locala Community Partnerships to ensure care continues beyond hospital. Nurse practitioner Karen Russell-Hunt said: “Our work is all about building up good relationships with patients, carers and their relatives – and they certainly get our names and details on how to contact us!”

Questioning patients in departments such as accident and emergency, MRI (radiology), blood tests and X-Ray plus wards including children and elderly care, the survey showed that over half of respondents felt a good introduction from staff was vital. Of those who didn’t, many still felt that manners were important and nearly all paid tribute to the welcome given to them by the hospital’s volunteers.

Learn more about “Hello, my name is” by clicking here.


MP challenges Health minister over hospital parking

JC 171115 health questions

Jo Cox speaking at Health questions

Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox challenged the government today to help the NHS offset the cost of parking charges at hospitals.

In an exchange in the House of Commons, Mrs Cox asked the health minister Ben Gummer if it was fair that NHS trusts were penalising people who are ill or in need of medical attention, and their loved ones, who were having to pay more and more to visit hospitals.

This, she said, was due to government cuts to NHS funding. In response, the minister said the Trust should look at cutting money from elsewhere in its budget.

The Mid Yorkshire trust has raised parking charges at Dewsbury and District Hospital and introduced charges for disabled drivers for the first time.

Mrs Cox added: “I am contacted on a regular basis by constituents outraged about this. It is quite clear just how upsetting and inconvenient parking charges are, not just for those who need to attend the hospital for care or appointments but also for family and friends who are visiting loved.

“New figures suggest that there are now 132 hospitals charging people with blue badges to park. This, and increasing existing charges, is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

“It is true that the trust has suffered from mismanagement in the past but this is not at play in this issue. It is down to how much money the trust gets from the government, which patently is not enough.”