An organisation which represents Huddersfield GPs has criticised health chiefs for failing to consult local doctors on a plan which could close Huddersfield’s A&E.

Kirklees Local Medical Committee (LMC) said it had been given no ‘direct input’ into the Right Care Right Time Right Place (RCRTRP) proposal which will centralise emergency care in Halifax.

The organisation added it was ‘sceptical’ about RCRTRP and outlined a list of concerns about the controversial hospital shake-up.

At a meeting of councillors and local NHS chiefs, Kirklees LMC Chairman Dr Richard Jenkinson said: “We accept there is a need for change but we have not had any direct input into the design of services so far.”

Kirklees LMC Medical Secretary, Dr Bert Jindal, added that the organisation had concerns about the knock-on effects the proposal would have on the dwindling number of Huddersfield GPs.

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Some 21 out of 38 GP practices in Huddersfield have had their funding slashed by up to 44%.

But it is expected surgeries will be expected to pick up the slack as healthcare is increasingly moved out of hospitals and into the ‘community’, under RCRTRP and its sister plan Care Closer to Home.

Dr Jindal said: “GPs are sceptical about the proposal...

“In primary care, GPs and their staff are under severe pressure. Forecasts suggest a significant fall in GPs over the next five years.”

Dr Bert Jindal

The Paddock GP said local doctors were concerned about ‘hidden costs’ of RCRTRP and the amount of extra debt it would add to the local NHS. Health chiefs will have to borrow £490m to make RCRTRP a reality.

Dr Jindal said that LMC members were concerned the plan would heap pressure onto an already stretched Yorkshire Ambulance Services and neighbouring health authorities.

He added that Huddersfield GPs were worried about poor access to Calderdale Royal Hospital’s emergency department via the Elland Bypass and the ‘net reduction’ of beds in Huddersfield.

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The new Huddersfield hospital to replace Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) will have 120 beds compared to HRI’s 400 beds.

Under the plan, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) will be demolished and replaced with a new hospital, which will have an urgent care centre but crucially, no emergency department.

Emergency care will be centralised at Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) which will be expanded from 400 to up to 700 beds.

A spokesperson for Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), one of the health authorities behind RCRTRP, said Kirklees LMC had received monthly updates on the plan from September 2015 to May 2016.