It was the decision that hardly anybody in Huddersfield wanted.

A plan which will close the town’s A&E has been given the unanimous go-ahead by Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS bosses this afternoon.

At first it seemed the plan would be paused as health bosses accepted there was a list of ‘holes’ in it.

Uncertainty surrounding funding, ambulance travel issues, major public opposition to the plan and other serious concerns were discussed.

Then, all of a sudden, the hands of local NHS chiefs were raised, voting to proceed with the controversial proposal which will centralise emergency care in Halifax.

The meeting started relatively quietly compared to earlier public meetings convened by health chiefs to explain the biggest local health plan in a generation.

But the mood gradually changed starting with the odd heckle and rising to full volume opposition as gaps in the plan were pointed out.

By the time local health bosses started to vote through the plan the atmosphere switched up to fury.

Audience members shouted ‘Judas’ and ‘traitors’ before storming out of the upstairs suite at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top.

President of #HandsOffHRI Karl Deitch echoed the feelings of anger and disappointment.

“I’m just gutted,” he said.

But Karl said the battle was far from over.

Video thumbnail, Hands Off HRI at Cedar Court
Video Loading

“We will carry on fighting,” he pledged. “We will carry on fundraising and get a legal challenge and put pressure on Jeremy Hunt.”

Among the issues raised at the meeting were criticisms of the proposal by a Kirklees and Calderdale joint health scrutiny committee which could refer the proposal to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Health chiefs, however, said the panel’s 19 recommendations would be considered as the plan progressed.

Another opponent of the plan was Kirklees Local Medical Committee which represents GPs in the borough.

Kirklees LMC leader, GP and vocal plan critic Dr Bert Jindal said he was ‘flabbergasted’ that the plan had been allowed to progress.

“All the evidence didn’t support them going ahead with the proposal,” he said. “It would have been a lot more comfortable if they had paused it.

“All the LMC wanted was them to look at alternative proposals.”