Halifax set to keep its A&E department after proposals for shake-up are published

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Calderdale Royal Hospital is set to keep its A&E department and become a centralised centre for emergency care under proposals made public today.

It would become the main A&E for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust if restructuring plans put forward by NHS bosses go ahead.

Holly Lynch with Josh Fenton-Glynn and Coun Tim Swift outside Calderdale A&E

Holly Lynch with Josh Fenton-Glynn and Coun Tim Swift outside Calderdale A&E

Health commissioners have been drawing up plans for the future of Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI).

A document published this afternoon shows that the preferred option is for “unplanned” emergency care to be centralised at the Halifax hospital.

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary would be used for planned “elective” hospital procedures at its Acre Mill site. The trust could then dispose of the main hospital site, according to the proposals.

The report said that option would cost the least after a financial analysis was carried out.

It said: “The lowest cash deficit arises from CRH being the site delivering unplanned care due to its lower capital requirement than for HRI.

“The preferred financial option is that unplanned services be delivered from the CRH site, with HRI delivering planned care.”

Calderdale being the main A&E was one of five options being considered for the hospital trust, which is expected to be £25m in deficit by the end of this financial year.

The report said: “From the work completed it is clear that the main difference between the five shortlisted options is finance.”

Car parking, travel time between hospitals and the impact on some groups of patients are also cited as reasons for Calderdale being the main A&E.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch has campaigned for the town’s A&E to remain open.

She said: “This is good news for Calderdale and will be welcomed by local people. At long last we have clarity about exactly what reconfiguration plans will mean for both Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, ending months of speculation.

“I am glad that NHS bosses have recognised that it would have been totally wrong to have patients travelling from as far as Todmorden to Huddersfield along congested roads in order to get to A&E.”

Ms Lynch had challenged Prime Minister David Cameron to make sure Calderdale’s A&E would stay open.

She said she wanted both Halifax and Huddersfield to be served by an emergency department.

Ms Lynch added said: “This shouldn’t be an issue of Calderdale hospital versus Huddersfield hospital. People in Huddersfield will inevitably be concerned about today’s news, so we will look to support them wherever we can.”

Councillor Tim Swift, leader of Calderdale Council, said: “This is clearly very good news for Calderdale, it shows that when the council and local people work together, we can make a difference.

On Wednesday, a joint meeting of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs will decide whether a public consultation can be launched on the proposals.

The public meeting will be held at 1.30pm at the Briar Court Hotel, Halifax Road, Huddersfield.

People are invited to submit questions, which must be sent in writing to susan.holmes2@calderdaleccg.nhs.uk by 5pm on Monday.