The downgrading of Dewsbury A&E should be reversed if it does not work, an MP has claimed.

The Examiner revealed earlier this week that hospital bosses were planning to speed up their re-configuration plans, including the shake-up of accident and emergency services – saving £10m per year in the process.

A meeting of Wakefield and Kirklees councillors at Dewsbury Town Hall on Friday will decide if changes originally planned for spring 2017 can be made this summer.

Dewsbury will still have 24/7 emergency care and full resuscitation facilities but more seriously ill patients are likely to be transferred elsewhere, especially at night when consultant doctors will not routinely be on site.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff has criticised the accelerated timetable but Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, told the Examiner that clinical safety would be boosted by “better deployment of the existing workforce”.

Now Ms Sherriff’s fellow Labour MP, Jo Cox, has revealed she has asked the Health Secretary to monitor and reverse the downgrade if it is not working.

The Batley and Spen MP said: “Mid Yorkshire Trust plans to bring forward the downgrade of Dewsbury and District Hospital’s A&E after yet more criticism from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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“The response to this criticism, about poor staffing and hygiene levels, is to bring forward plans to downgrade Dewsbury and centralise services at Pinderfields 12 months earlier than planned.

Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield
Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield

“This is less than a year since we learned that Dewsbury had been carrying the burden when Pinderfields A&E couldn’t cope or was closed to ambulances dealing with 999 calls.

“There is great concern and nervousness about the downgrade at this time and the confidence that this will work is low.

“If this does not work I want the Health Secretary to pledge to step in and order the downgrade of our hospital to be reversed.”

The shake-up of services at Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals, dubbed ‘Meeting the Challenge’, was approved by the Health Secretary in 2014 following an independent review.

It has already seen most heart patients moved to Pinderfields and higher risk pregnancies will follow later this year.

A large building scheme at Dewsbury is underway and the ageing Bronte Tower and Staincliffe Wing are likely to be demolished and the land sold for housing.