In the second part of a special feature on the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposals, Head of Content Andrew Hirst looks at what we don't know about the hospital shake-up — and the questions that remain unanswered.

The most worrying aspect of the whole process is what we won’t know even after the consultation comes to an end.

We believe the questions listed below go to the very heart of what is being mooted but without answers at this stage how can we feel the consultation can be a complete and fair one?

Our concerns are echoed by leading members of the #HandsOffHRI campaign.

Secretary Natalie Ratcliffe said: “This is not a consultation, it’s a CONsultation. Having attended the first session in Slaithwaite, which was an information giving session, I listened to residents asking pertinent questions that could not be answered.

Natalie Ratcliffe, of Unison and #HandsOffHRI

“What I found interesting is that there were no staff there that would be delivering the service they are proposing.

“Things the CCG has missed are the views of frontline NHS staff including GPs.

“We are and will continue to campaign against this imposition! We will shout out our concerns to whoever will listen. We are not going away – the strength of opposition to this is getting stronger. We do appreciate that there is a need for change but losing our emergency centre is not a change we are prepared to accept. Our council and MPS are backing us. Each town needs an A&E.”

READ MORE: Hands off HRI: What we know so far about hospital shake-up

Watch: The campaign to save Huddersfield A&E

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Unanswered questions

The entire scheme is expected to cost £470m but it’s far from clear if or when the Government will provide the money.

A spokeswoman for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust made an application for the funding in January to the Treasury via the Department of Health, with the support of the CCGs for the £470M. We do not yet have a date when we expect an answer.”

And even if it is given but then runs over budget, as most projects do, who will fund the rest of the money needed or will the plans have to be changed?

We don’t know exactly where the new hospital would be built on the Acre Mills site and what it would look like.

The CCG says: “These are not things which would be determined at this point”.

HRI/Acre Mills from above
HRI/Acre Mills from above

What will happen to the current Huddersfield Royal Infirmary site when it is demolished?

The CCG says: “There is no current agreement to demolish the HRI. Consideration of how to make best use of the site would be made should proposed changes go ahead.”

How many car parking spaces will be provided?

The CCG says: “This is not something which would be determined at this point. As part of the consultation we have asked for people’s views on travel, transport and parking. The proposed changes include the provision of a multi-storey car park on both sites.”

Calderdale Royal Hospital would have to be expanded from 450 beds to 612 with the potential to increase to 700 but we have no idea what extra building at Calderdale would look like, where on the site it would be and how many car parking spaces would be lost.

READ MORE: Hands Off HRI: What is PFI and how have we got into this mess?

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the 'Right Care Right Time Right Place' hospital shake-up

Here's what we don't know:

  • We have no timings for blue light runs from different Huddersfield postcodes to Calderdale Royal Hospital.

  • We have no timings for blue light journeys from Huddersfield postcodes to Barnsley General Hospital.

  • We have no timings for blue light journeys from Huddersfield postcodes to Royal Oldham Hospital.

Exactly who signed the original PFI agreement which led to Calderdale Royal Hospital being built?

The CCG says: “This is a question for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.”

No answer has so far been forthcoming.