Campaigners hoping to save Huddersfield’s A&E have urged local NHS bosses to invest in the hospital – rather than knock it down.
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary is earmarked for demolition under the Right Care Right Time Right Place plan.
The hospital would be replaced by a new, smaller hospital which would have an urgent care unit – but no emergency care centre.
Under the controversial plan emergency care would be centralised at Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax.
But campaign group #HandsOffHRI has urged local NHS bosses behind the plan to invest in the existing facility which admitted its first patients 50 years ago today.
Campaigner founder Karl Deitch said: “The HRI has supported the local community for the last 50 years. It has helped keep many alive and has brought many into the world.
“With the recent proposals stating they are to demolish the hospital, bear in mind it is only 50 years old, so not very old at all.
“It continues to serve us well, and does so day in and day out. All the staff and everyone who work there, work tirelessly for the community and they are to be applauded.
“It’s now our chance to do what the HRI has been doing for five decades and that’s saving lives and helping us.
“This is now our time to return the favour, and save the HRI and keep it alive.”
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney suggested that rather than spending about £500m on the Right Care Right Time Right Place plan, local NHS bosses should use some of the cash to bring HRI up to today’s standards.
The Conservative MP said: “We hope that the hundreds of millions of pounds that would be required for the new hospital can be invested in HRI to provide good quality, local services so that in 50 years’ time we can celebrate its 100th anniversary.”