Bassetlaw: Hospital chiefs dismiss rumours of labour ward closure

Mike Pinkerton, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mike Pinkerton, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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Chiefs at the trust which runs Bassetlaw Hospital have dismissed claims the maternity ward and catering department will be ‘closed’ to tackle a deficit of £29.5 million.

The claims were made in anonymous letters and calls to the Guardian in which one Worksop resident - who claims to work at the hospital - speculated that ‘all maternity services’ at the hospital were to be ‘closed’ and ‘transferred to Doncaster Infirmary’, which is also operated by the trust.

They also claimed that the catering department at the hospital would also be ‘shut down’ and went on ‘as a resident of Worksop I do not want to lose services that we have fought long hard for and I ask for the Guardian to investigate’.

Mike Pinkerton, chief executive at Bassetlaw Hospitals, hit back at the claims by confirming that the maternity ward would remain open - but admitted that there could be changes to catering at the hospital.

Mr Pinkerton said: “There are no plans to close maternity services or shut the labour ward at Bassetlaw Hospital.

“It is true to say that the trust is in a position of financial turnaround and we need to take every opportunity to reduce the gap between income and expenditure, but we are committed to doing this without compromising service provision or patient safety.

“The actions we have already taken are improving the position on a month by month basis.

“We are preparing to test the market for the catering services we provide at the trust, which includes patient meals and retail outlets. That market test will determine the best course of action to ensure that the trust is making effective use of every pound of public money.”

The trust came under fire last week when it announced that charges to park at Bassetlaw Hospital for patients and staff at the hospital were set to more than double in a bid to raise £800,000.

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