REVAMP plans for a ward at the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital have been delayed as the projected costs of the work rocket.
Plans to upgrade the facilities were previously given the green-light last June, but Kirklees Primary Care Trust bosses told councillors at January’s Holme Valley South Area committee that they had done a re-assessment and the costs were now too high for them to move forward immediately.
At the meeting, Sheila Dilks, director of patient care for the trust, said: “The facilities are 40 years out of date.
“A lot of work needs doing in terms of piped oxygen, infection control and patient safety.
“Because the costs are now over £1m we’re not allowed to proceed without going to the Strategic Health Authority (SHA) for approval.”
Mrs Dilks later told the Express & Chronicle that the hike in costs was down to the combination of an NHS policy change requiring them to increase the specification of the facilities in the valley, and a team of consultants finding that the state of the hospital to be worse than first realised.
She added that, although the Holme Valley work was just a small part of a £12m upgrade of facilities in Calderdale and Kirklees, if approved, it would be the first part of the community hospital plan in the region to be delivered.
She said an initial decision from the SHA was due in the next couple of months and the proposals would then go to the Kirklees PCT board before being put out to tender.
Holme Valley Parish Council member, Judith Roberts, a regular at PCT meetings, said she was “a little bit disappointed” that it was taking so long.
“We’re in a bit of a time warp, everything seems to change, I don’t want to see any more changes when it’s all done and dusted,” Clr Roberts added.
If approved, the plans would see the ageing Maple ward taken out of service and facilities installed in a modernised 20-bed Hawthorne ward.