The completed plans for the radical overhaul of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary were not published yesterday.
Campaigners fighting the controversial NHS shake-up – which could see A&E moved to Halifax – were told health bosses would finish their work by the end of June.
The fully costed plan, more than 18 months in the making, was due to be given to Kirklees and Calderdale councillors three weeks before the crunch meeting on July 21 where they will decide whether or not to give it the green light.
It was thought the document may also be revealed to the public today.
But hospital chiefs have today confirmed the so called ‘Full Business Case’ is still not ready and will not be published in public by them.
Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commisioning Group (GHCCG) declined to answer questions about the unveiling of the document, re-directing the Examiner to Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT).
The first chance members of the public will get to see the document is on July 14 when it is uploaded to Kirklees Council’s website, ahead of the Joint Health and Scrutiny Committee (JHSC) on July 21.
The JHSC will decide whether to give the unpopular plan the go-ahead or refer it to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel – who review significant NHS restructuring proposals for the Department of Health.
CHFT’s Director of Transformation and Partnerships Anna Basford said: “The trust has been developing the Business Case and this work will shortly be completed.
“This draft business case will then go through the trust’s governance and sign off processes during July prior to agreeing the formal process of submission of the document with NHS Improvement.
“We will provide Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee with information relevant to their recommendations in advance of their meeting on July 21.”
Papers’ for the trust’s board meeting of July 6 suggest officials have been struggling to finish the work on time.
Notes on the ‘Board Assurance Framework’ risks document highlight workforce capacity and a lack of clarity in the approval process for the Full Business Case.
Proposals to shake-up emergency care in Kirklees and Calderdale were first hinted in late 2013 when then Halifax MP, Linda Riordan, got wind of plans to axe Calderdale A&E.
Two years later the proposal was reversed to focus emergency care in Halifax, putting HRI’s A&E at threat in the process.
A&E at Huddersfield will be downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre, which will still be able to treat a large amount of injuries commonly seen in A&E.
But more serious and life threatening cases will be sent to Halifax, Bradford, Leeds or Pinderfields, depending on the speciality needed.