A ‘landlocked’ hospital could struggle to provide emergency care for Huddersfield and Calderdale because it has no space to expand.
Calderdale Royal Hospital has been earmarked to provide emergency care for the two towns if Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) loses its A & E under a controversial hospital shake-up plan.
But Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has warned that the Halifax site is ‘simply not big enough’ to absorb the services currently provided at HRI.
Mr Sheerman said the ‘landlocked’ Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) campus was unlikely to plug the gap without making ‘heroic assumptions’ about the ability of other services, such as GP surgeries and pharmacies, to pick up the slack.
In a detailed document urging local NHS chiefs to pause the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal, Mr Sheerman said: “I have been informed by senior healthcare managers at the highest level that the CRH site is ‘simply not big enough’ to absorb all the services currently provided at HRI without making ‘heroic assumptions’ about the ability of other services (such as GPs, pharmacies etc.) to deliver additional care.
“There will not be enough office space if most consultants and teams are based in CRH.
“Moreover, as the CRH site is ‘landlocked’, as another senior NHS manager informed told me, there is very little room to increase its capacity.
“HRI is a massive site to close, and is the one hospital that is actually owned by the trust, and senior managers have told me that while the building is not as new as CRH and would benefit from some renovation, it is a perfectly serviceable hospital building going forward.”
Mr Sheerman added that an expanded CRH would need improved access roads and car parking.
The Labour member said: “The roads approaching CRH are already very congested and I have been informed by staff at the hospital that it can take ten minutes just to get out of the car park.
“How much worse will these problems be after reconfiguration?
“There are currently bottlenecks at the bottom of Salterhebble and at Ainley Top , and there appears to be very little potential for road improvements and modifications to increase access.”
Mr Sheerman’s plea was made as health chiefs faced a hostile audience at the John Smith’s Stadium in a final public meeting over the controversial plans.
WATCH the walkout at the stadium last night below
Many in the audience walked out in a show of strength against the proposals, which would see A & E services move from Huddersfield and a smaller hospital built to replace the Infirmary.