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.”