Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS bosses set to support hospital shake-up

editorial image

Health bosses are expected to give their support to a re-organisation of hospital services in Calderdale and Huddersfield despite safety concerns.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) which control NHS budgets in the two towns are expected to back controversial plans to downsize Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and expand the hospital in Halifax.

Huddersfield’s A&E department would be downgraded and the town’s 400-bed hospital replaced with a smaller site with just 64 beds under the scheme, which has raised safety fears over longer journey times to hospital.

Calderdale Royal Hospital would be expanded with a bigger A&E department to take the most serious emergency cases from both districts.

NHS bosses have insisted the shake-up will improve patient safety.

But health action groups are calling for the proposals to be scrapped.

Jenny Shepherd, of Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS, said: “All Calderdale patients will have to travel to Huddersfield for planned operations and cancer treatment.

“All Kirklees patients will have to travel to Halifax for acute and emergency care.

“Hospital beds and staff are to be slashed and there is little or no extra provision for GPs and community services to make up for lost hospital services.”

The two CCGs will meet today and tomorrow to discuss whether to tell NHS England that they support a Full Business Case report which sets out how the re-organisation will happen.

Greater Huddersfield CCG’s governing body will meet at the Textile Centre, Huddersfield, at 3pm today.

Calderdale CCG will hold its meeting at 2pm on Thursday at the Shay Stadium, Halifax.

Reports to the meetings recommend supporting the plans because of “the significant contribution to improved clinical care and improved outcomes for our population”.

The hospital shake-up has already been referred to the health secretary by Calderdale and Kirklees joint health scrutiny committee.

In July the committee asked Jeremy Hunt to review the proposals, saying it was not satisfied that adequate consultation had been carried out.