Health chiefs have admitted that the decision whether to locate emergency services at Huddersfield or Halifax was ‘down to value for money’.

Locating emergency care services at Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH), Halifax, rather than Huddersfield Royal Infimary (HRI), will save the local NHS £31m, health chiefs claim in a consulation document released today (Monday).

Situating emergency services solely at Calderdale is forecast to cost £470m.

But it will cost £501m to locate emergency care at Huddersfield according to ‘Have Your Say’, a public document which sets out the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal in the greatest detail yet.

Under the proposal HRI will be demolished and replaced with a smaller, planned care hospital without an A&E, while CRH will concentrate on emergency services.

The document, which aims to convince the public of the need for a shake-up of hospital services, says: “When the alternatives were assessed against the criteria, the choice between CRH and HRI as the site for a new emergency centre was down to value for money.

The Royal Infirmary from the Acre Mills site
The Royal Infirmary from the Acre Mills site

“The total funding required, including the funding to develop CRH as the emergency centre would be £470m, compared to £501m if we were to develop HRI to be the emergency centre.”

HRI was let down by its old, decaying building which will cost the hospital trust £20m per year in backlog maintenance until 2021.

The document, which encourages the public to take part in the public consultation, says: “On the one hand we have a hospital at HRI that is more than 50 years old with outdated buildings.

Watch: Huddersfield speaks out on potential HRI A&E closure

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“If we were to retain it there would be a need for significant rebuilding as well as £20m a year of backlog maintenance until 2020/21.

“On the other hand we have CRH which is a modern hospital that is only 15 years old and already meets modern day building standards.”

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The Have Your Say document adds: “We have carried out a very comprehensive assessment of the alternatives and came to the view that the most affordable was to develop CRH as the emergency centre.

“Also, HRI is more than 50 years old and if it were to be retained there would be a need for significant rebuilding.

“Other alternatives would be much more expensive and would be unlikely to attract the funding we would need to develop both hospital sites.”