Dewsbury's A&E unit could be ‘downgraded’ nine months sooner than planned.

Hospital chiefs at Mid Yorkshire Trust have confirmed they want to accelerate 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.

It is thought the timetable is being fast-tracked in response to criticism in the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.

The trust – which runs Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals – was told some of its care was still not safe due to nurse shortages.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff said she had “grave concerns” about the proposal to speed up the transition – which would see more A&E patients treated at Pinderfields, Wakefield.

The controversial ‘Meeting the Challenge’ proposal to re-configure care was given the green light by the Health Secretary in March 2014.

It involves creating a bigger and more specialised A&E team at Pinderfields and reducing expertise and service in Dewsbury.

Dewsbury hospital’s emergency department will still have full resuscitation facilities but senior doctors will not be on site at night.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff speaking in the House of Commons

The majority of critical patients will be directed to Pinderfields.

Health experts say it is safer to have one large emergency centre rather than local services.

Ms Sherriff said she “implored” the hospital’s board to stick to their original plan.

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In a letter to chief executive Stephen Eames, she said the move “could potentially lead to patients in Dewsbury and surrounding areas being unable to access vital medical services”.

Ms Sherriff said hospital chiefs were going back on their vow to not move forward the shake-up until another scheme to reduce in-hospital attendances, dubbed Care Closer To Home, was fully established.

Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “There is agreement in principle that the benefits that could be derived in terms of clinical safety by better deployment of existing workforce would justify delivering full re-configuration in summer 2016.”