Watchdog seeks views on Calderdale and Huddersfield A&E shake-up
A council watchdog is asking people to have their say on a controversial shake-up of hospital services in Halifax and Huddersfield.
The Calderdale and Kirklees joint health scrutiny committee has organised two drop-in to discuss the proposals, which would see A&E care for the two towns centralised in Halifax.
Up to 300 beds could be added to Calderdale Royal Infirmary, which would become the main A&E for the two districts.
Huddersfield’s existing 400-bed infirmary would be replaced with a 120-bed site designed for planned NHS care.
The scrutiny committee, which has been questioning NHS bosses on the shake-up and has powers to refer the plans to the health secretary, has organised sessions on Thursday, July 7, from 4pm-7pm at Huddersfield Town Hall and on Tuesday, July 12, at the same time at Halifax Town Hall.
A separate public consultation by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS bosses closed today.
Coun Liz Smaje, who co-chairs the committee, said: “We always have representation from the public at our meetings and have received some interesting and helpful comments.
“However, we know that some people have not been able to get to our formal meetings or perhaps are a bit nervous about talking in a public setting.
“So the drop-in sessions are an opportunity to have a quiet one-to-one discussion about the proposed changes to the hospitals with one of the councillors who sits on the Joint Committee.”
The hospital proposals, designed to tackle a £280m funding gap, led to protests from NHS campaigners who fear that increased journey times to A&E would compromise safety.
Fears have also been raised that the plans are driven by NHS budget cuts.
But bosses at Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have insisted the changes are designed to provide the safest possible care.
People had until 5pm today to take part in an online survey as part of a 14-week consultation by the CCGs.
The deadline was midnight on Tuesday but was extended after a computer glitch.
The results of the consultation will now be analysed by CCG bosses before they make a final decision in October.