Leeds & West Yorkshire

Pontefract Hospital A&E closure to be discussed at meeting

Pontefract Hospital
Image caption Pontefract Hospital's A&E department has been closed overnight since 1 November

A public meeting to discuss the partial closure of a West Yorkshire hospital's A&E department will be held later.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust board voted in October to close Pontefract Hospital's A&E department overnight from 1 November due to staff shortages.

Yvette Cooper, Labour MP for Pontefract and Castleford, said the decision was "deeply unfair" to local residents.

The trust said the meeting, at 18:00 GMT at Pontefract Town Hall, would explain the closure in more detail.

'Strenuous efforts'

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust board previously said the decision to close the A&E department from 22:00 to 08:00 each night was made "purely on patient safety grounds".

It said attempts to recruit nine new emergency doctors for the department had failed despite "strenuous efforts".

The trust said an overnight closure would affect fewer patients than it would at the nearby Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals.

But Ms Cooper had said she was "shocked" by the trust's decision, and believed it had broken its promises.

The trust board said the public meeting would be a chance for local residents to ask board members about the closure and its implications.

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