Health bosses have hired a City law firm as the fight over a controversial hospital shake-up plan continues.

Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs (clinical commissioning groups) have instructed London-based law firm DAC Beachcroft to help advise on their response to a letter from legal company, Irwin Mitchell, which has been representing the #HandsOffHRI campaign.

A CCG spokesperson said: “DAC Beachcroft have been instructed by Calderdale CCG and Greater Huddersfield CCG in relation to a letter received from Irwin Mitchell who have been instructed to act on behalf of the campaign group Hands off HRI (sic).

“DAC Beachcroft is the company from which the CCGs gain their legal advice as and when they need it.

“The CCGs have not set aside any specific amount of money for legal fees and costs.”

Irwin Mitchell and #HandsOffHRI are hoping to derail Right Care Right Time Right Place which could close Huddersfield’s A&E and centralise emergency care at Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax.

Yogi Amin, partner at Irwin Mitchell, said the company had identified ‘23 points of concern’ which could threaten the legality of a public consultation on the plan.

Mr Amin said the company could not disclose the 23 points in detail.

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But he said Irwin Mitchell had ‘serious and major’ concerns about the lack of detail on emergency journey times, funding and the ability of community services to take over services currently delivered in hospitals.

Mr Amin said: “The 23 concerns raised with the CCGs span a wide range of issues some of which has already been raised but unanswered.

“It includes issues around the lack of detail on the journey time survey for patients to travel in emergency situations to the new proposed hospital, the lack of information about funding the new proposals and capacity for the community services and GPs to

“There is also a question over how the changes would affect the NHS’s ability to respond to major incidents.”