Jeremy Hunt asked to urgently to review Calderdale and Huddersfield hospital shake-up

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A council watchdog has asked for the health secretary’s “urgent attention” to a controversial shake-up of hospital services.

Jeremy Hunt was first asked to carry out a review of the proposals for Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals back in September.

The plans would see Huddersfield Royal Infirmary replaced with a smaller hospital and A&E services centralised in Halifax.

Calderdale and Huddersfield joint health scrutiny committee referred the plans to Mr Hunt after safety fears were raised over longer journey times to hospital.

Now the committee has sent a letter to Mr Hunt raising concerns that a review has not yet been carried out.

The committee said: “It requests the secretary of state’s urgent attention to a referral sent on September 1, 2017.”

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt

The proposals, which have sparked protests, would see Huddersfield’s existing 400-bed infirmary replaced with a 64-bed site with an urgent care centre instead of a full A&E.

Calderdale Royal Hospital would get more beds and an expanded emergency department to serve both towns.

The letter to Mr Hunt, dated November 24, said: “It is now nearly three months since the referral was made and following a recent enquiry we understand that the Independent Re-configuration Panel has still not yet been asked to consider our referral in detail.

“The Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee view the future configuration of its local hospital and community health services as a matter of great importance and the outcome of the referral remains of significant interest to the public of Calderdale and Kirklees.

“We would therefore be grateful if you could progress this matter as soon as you are able.”

The Department of Health declined to comment on the letter.