Bassetlaw Hospital chiefs have denied a “leaked email” reveals plans to fully axe the hospital’s struggling children’s ward.
The email, sent by an anonymous hospital staff member to activists campaigning against recent cuts, apparently reveals the Ward A3 is to close and be replaced by a ‘children’s ambulatory unit’.
It comes after the Trust made the controversial decision to close the ward to admissions after 7.30pm, meaning any children admitted after that time are transferred to Doncaster Infirmary almost 20 miles away.
But Trust bosses have denied the claims and say the email is merely an “instruction to staff” relating to the patient administration system.
A spokesman for the Bassetlaw and Doncaster Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust said: “The email that is referred to on the Facebook page is actually an instruction to staff on the patient administration system, not an email.
“This instruction is to ensure that children’s attendance is correctly clinically coded and recorded. The position we reported at overview and scrutiny last week is still the current position.
“We remain committed to Ward A3 children’s ward at Bassetlaw Hospital- the beds remain, and the ward will re-open at night if the current vacancies can be filled.
“We have recently invested more than £278,000 in the ward, which does host the children’s ambulatory unit referred to in the instruction.”
But Ellen King, heading the Parents Against Cuts to Bassetlaw Children’s Ward campaign, says the Trust are “misleading the public”.
She said: “As a campaign, I want to us to be able to work constructively alongside the Hospital Trust to come up with solutions to the closure of the Children’s Ward and to promote Bassetlaw Hospital to prospective staff.
“Sadly, it is becoming increasingly difficult to have any trust in the management board when they continue to mislead the public, hospital staff and now our elected representatives in this way.
“When the Trust are saying one thing to a Council Committee and at the same time, something entirely different to staff, how are we supposed to trust anything the management of the hospital are saying? “It’s extremely worrying that there doesn’t appear to be any accountability, and I continue to defend the right of Bassetlaw residents to question the Trust and campaign against the closure.”
A petition for the issue to be heard in Parliament was submitted to Bassetlaw District Council this month after collecting nearly 10,000 signatures.