MPs Tracy Brabin and Paula Sherriff Respond to a Meeting with the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt

The MPs, representing Batley & Spen and Dewsbury constituencies, met with Jeremy Hunt yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss local health care and in particular their concerns over the planned downgrades to Dewsbury District Hospital. Issuing a joint response, the Labour MPs said, “The meeting with Jeremy Hunt couldn’t have come at a more pertinent time.  Our NHS is currently in the midst of a national winter crisis that has been described by the Red Cross as a “humanitarian crisis”.

We know that locally our hospitals are struggling to cope with the added pressures. We have both received a high level of complaints from patients and their families who have raised very serious concerns with regard to their treatment at both Dewsbury District Hospital and Pinderfields General Infirmary in recent weeks.

We were very clear with Jeremy Hunt regarding our concern about the future of our local services as the NHS comes under increasing financial pressure from central government. In a full and frank discussion with Mr Hunt topics ranged from the treatment of individual constituents to national policy regarding retaining bed numbers across the service.

Although Mr Hunt appeared to sympathise with our situation it was very clear that the Government are not prepared to offer any immediate solutions to our concerns and that no more money would be made available for our cash starved services.

Dewsbury District Hospital is due to see further reductions in services over the coming months and our concern remains for the safety of our constituents once these changes have been implemented.  We are incredibly disappointed that the Government continues to turn a blind eye to this national crisis in our NHS.”