Patients fighting plans to downgrade services at Dewsbury District Hospital have sent heartfelt messages of support to doctors and nurses.

Campaigners from Save Our Local Hospital Services festooned the hospital sign with special heart-shaped thank-you cards.

The gesture came as inspectors from the Care Quality Commission were due to visit the three hospitals run by Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – Dewsbury, Pinderfields at Wakefield and Pontefract.

Christine Hyde, a spokesman for the group, said: “We wanted to show our support for the hospital and its staff.”

The group asked patients for messages and received around 200. Many of them were written on heart-shaped cards and posted for all to see.

Messages included: “Thank you. I had life-saving surgery at Dewsbury Hospital. Intensive care was superb.”

Another reads: “Thank you to all staff on Coronary Care. You saved my life.”

Others thanked staff by name. Another reads: “Dr Horden, your care is second to none!” while another added: “Thank you Janet Leighton and the audiology team for my hearing aid. Just brilliant.”

Christine, joined outside the hospital’s main Halifax Road entrance by other campaigners, said the hospital was very important to local people.

“It’s literally a matter of life and death,” she said. “We don’t want to lose services.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has backed plans to downgrade services at the hospital3.

These include losing an overnight consultant in the accident and emergency unit and making the maternity unit midwife-led, meaning seriously-ill babies would go to Pinderfields.

Some 30,000 people signed a petition against the changes and Christine said: “The support for the hospital is massive.”

Christine, who is also part of another group North Kirklees NHS Support, said: “We believe this is the beginning of the end for the hospital.

“Services keep being taken away and the jigsaw is falling apart. If that keeps happening the trust will say the sums don’t add up and they will want to shut the hospital.”

Dewsbury District Hospital
Dewsbury District Hospital
 

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