Fears raised over A&E shake-up plan

Calderdale Royal Hospital
Calderdale Royal Hospital

NHS bosses are finalising a public consultation on the future of A&E services.

Meetings will be held and documents will be made available on the possible centralisation of A&E services in Halifax.

Huddersfield’s A&E could be downgraded to an urgent care centre and the town’s main hospital site knocked down.

People will be asked to give their views by Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

But concerns were raised yesterday that a council watchdog was given just hours to look at the consultation documents before they are finalised.

Calderdale and Kirklees joint health scrutiny committee could potentially refer the A&E plans to health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Committee member Coun Adam Wilkinson said: “In effect we’ve been given a matter of hours to read them and feed in comments, which shows a disregard for the proper scrutiny process.

“If the CCGs want the public to have faith in their consultation process it is vital that Scrutiny is able to do its job.”

The committee met last Friday to discuss the hospital plans.

NHS campaigner Jenny Shepherd said the proposals would harm hospital services, and told the committee: “Use your power to stop this consultation plan now.”

Fears over patient safety and travel times to hospital were also raised during a debate in parliament on Tuesday, organised by Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney.