More work needed on hospital proposals before a decision can be made

Scrutiny councillors have welcomed a letter from the Health Secretary asking for more work to be done on proposals to change care provision at Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals.

Health Secretary recommends reconsideration

Jeremy Hunt says that the current proposals are not in the best interests of local people, and has asked that the CCGs now work with NHS England, NHS Improvement and the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee for Kirklees and Calderdale.

Cllr Liz Smaje, joint chair of the JHSC, said:

“I welcome this letter from the Secretary of State which indicates that the proposals are not in the best interests of local people and asks that NHS reconsider.

It is not saying that the plans have to go completely back to the drawing board, but it does share several concerns highlighted by the scrutiny committee and members of the public.

In particular, there are serious concerns about the difference between the final proposals and the plans which were put forward for consultation, and the overall deliverability of the plan including the out of hospital care.

The committee will now continue its work with all involved.”

Cllr Adam Wilkinson, the joint chair of the committee, added:

“The Secretary of State has indicated that he is sceptical of whether proposals of this scale and complexity are actually deliverable.

Councillors asked questions regarding the capital finance arrangements for the proposals and I am pleased that this point has been picked up by the Health Secretary.

I am also pleased that he shares the committee’s view that much more work needs to be done to ensure adequate community services are in place.”

Mr Hunt has asked that several other key issues including the reduction of hospital bed numbers, the availability of capital, and the deliverability of the proposals are reconsidered.

The letter adds:

“In short, the proposals are not in the best interests of the people of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield and I would ask the NHS locally and nationally to reconsider.”


  • It certainly isn’t in the best interests of the local people Although Calder dale hospital is only 5 miles away the catchment area for Huddersfield is much further When I have had to go to Calder dale the journey is horrendous and there is insufficient parking and waiting times are already too long Kirklees needs to maintain A&E at HRI in Hudoers field and not have to put up with a second class service due to Calder dale overspending using PFI We are not a Calder dale and Kirklees Council and hope never will be

  • Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (kirklees) site is a much more accessible site from many directions compared to CRH.
    Huddersfield /kirklees has the largest population compared to Halifax and Calderdale area and whilst I wish them well with their hospital, it shows how serious the incompatibilities and for what a few £M.
    It’s good to know that the Health Secretary finally has the same realisation and understanding of the whole of Huddersfield and Kirklees residents in that the idea as it stands is unworkable.
    It’s not often the small person like the general public like those of Huddersfield & Kirklees get a favourable decision made against the likes of the pompous hierarchy of the NHS bosses and those who have caused all this upheaval with our hospital in the first place. I just hope they come to their senses too.

  • Rodney Elliott

    One has to wonder just how much public money has been squandered so far on this unequivocally foolish proposal, yet we are to be witness to even more time wasting and interminable committee meetings of those self-acclaimed experts who have induced onto the hapless public of Kirklees a degree of totally unjustifiable anxiety and uncertainty.

    The reality is we have an expanding population, not least because of the extensive residential building developments in Kirklees and which is set to grow even more if one judges by the Local Plan, plus an ever increasing aged population, each of which make any reductions to NHS services totally untenable. Common sense tell us there is no bottomless pit of funding, but common sense also tells one that local NHS services cannot and must not be reduced. It is time to stop the procrastination and money wasting, for the bullet to be bitten and to just get on with doing whatever is needed to maintain HRI as the viable, modern and excellent institution it has always been since its inception.

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