Proposal for new hospital in Kirklees unveiled
A proposal to build a new hospital for people across Kirklees has been unveiled by a cross party group of senior councillors.
Leaders of all four parties and the independent group in Kirklees have agreed on the proposal in response to plans from local NHS Clinical Commission Groups (CCGs) in Calderdale and Huddersfield, who are proposing a significant change to the services provides by Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust (CHFT).
Why are we offering an alternative proposal?
Our proposals also take into account recent and potential future changes in the provision of service in the north of Kirklees given the continuing pressures in that system.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:
“It is vital that the growing population in Kirklees has its health and social care needs properly reflected and planned for. As a Council, we are unanimous in believing this cannot be left to chance. The original proposals were all about structure, rather than plans designed for people. We can’t afford to allow the haemorrhaging of services from both Dewsbury and Huddersfield hospitals as is happening now.
“We have written to the Secretary of State and to NHS England to say that we believe a new hospital in Kirklees will reflect a plan for the district and ensure the best healthcare in the future, whilst retaining services that need to be delivered locally in Huddersfield and Dewsbury”
“I fully acknowledge that there’s much work to do in developing the details in consultation with all stakeholders after we had the assurances and commitment to fully fund local, accessible services from the Secretary of State for Health.”
What are our proposals
Party leaders are proposing:
- Significant investment in prevention, staying well and helping people to manage their own health conditions effectively. This includes investment in primary and community health care services, social care and voluntary sector capacity, all of which have seen significantly less focus and investment than the acute hospital sector.
- The development of a new hospital located in a suitable location between Huddersfield and Dewsbury to include full A+E services with the provision of critical care beds that will otherwise be lost entirely from Kirklees.
- Embracing digital technology and other opportunities to genuinely provide care closer to or in people’s own homes.
- A willingness from the Council to look at how it might be able to provide access to capital funding that supports this development.
- That the exact configuration of services should be determined through a comprehensive review of all health and social care services and facilities across Kirklees including community provision
- That there is continued investment in existing health facilities, given the long term nature of the proposal.
As part of the proposal, the current ‘A&E’ and emergency centres at Pinderfields and Calderdale would remain, with urgent treatment centres in Huddersfield and Dewsbury
The ‘A&E’ department within the new hospital would be staffed by senior clinicians 7 days a week and be able to assess and treat all patients other than those needing more specialist or regional services (unlike the original proposals from the NHS).
The new hospital would retain in Kirklees services that have recently been lost from North Kirklees and will, under current proposals, be lost from Huddersfield. This removes the duplication and inefficiency that occurs from 2 separate trusts working independently from each other across multiple sites. Locally accessible services will be retained in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
Why all leaders are backing this proposal
Conservative group leader, Cllr David Hall said:
“This is a long-term plan for a long-term solution and so we are under no illusions that this will take up to 10 years to implement. Consequently, given the age of the current estate, intermediate investment will be needed in current sites but must be done in a way that supports the longer-term plan. However, we feel that investment should be planned on the best possible long term solution.”
Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr John Lawson said there was a range of reasons why the current proposals to government are not appropriate.
He added: “If the CCG’s proposals go ahead we will be left with a plan based around a single organisation (CHFT) and not a health and care system. It would not fit with regional health policy to plan across a place, and does not encourage opportunities for integration between different organisations. However, we all appreciate the limited options they have given the crippling PFI position at Calderdale.”
Cllr Charles Greaves Independents Group Leader said:
“This proposal is focused on developing an integrated health service across the district. It will need all parts of the health and care system to take a step forward and to work in partnership to deliver it, and we will give it our full support. “
Green Party leader Cllr Andrew Cooper said:
“This is a pragmatic move by the Council to try to get some local control over the future of Health Services in our area. If we leave it to the CCGs and Central Government we could lose our A+E and other vital services. The consistent efforts of local campaigners to protect our services is amazing. To support them best we need to take the initiative and find a way to protect those services so many local people rely on.”
What happens next?
The councillors have now submitted their proposals to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, and to NHS England.
In the next six months, the proposal will be further developed to ensure it is a viable solution which considers in further detail the workforce, activity and financial picture, and that high level clinical assumptions and models of care are accurately understood.