Campaigners have voiced fears that a plan to close Huddersfield’s A&E could be pushed through following a ‘deeply disappointing’ response to an official questionnaire.

Less than 1% of Huddersfield and Calderdale’s population are believed to have completed the official questionnaire on a proposal which will close Huddersfield’s A&E and centralise emergency care in Halifax.

According to the campaign group Friends of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI), a paltry 2,362 people have so far completed ‘Have Your Say’, a questionnaire issued by authors of the Right Care Right Time Right Place plan.

Huddersfield and Calderdale have a combined population of approximately 367,000.

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READ MORE: How do I take part in the Right Care Right Time Right Place public consultation?

The public consultation ends at midnight on June 21 – and campaigners fear health bosses will use the public’s apparent apathy to justify ‘pushing through’ the proposal.

Jackie Brook, of Friends of HRI, said: “It’s deeply disappointing that so few people have failed to engage with the Clinical Commissioning Groups at drops-ins after such an amazing display of people’s feelings at the march in February.

“However, I suspect people are unaware of how to be heard.”

Natalie Ratcliffe, secretary of the campaign group Hands Off HRI, added: “The number of surveys filled in by the public is disappointing.

“However, we are encouraging people relentlessly through social media, street stalls and posting through neighbours’ letter boxes to fill in the survey.

Campaigner Natalie Ratcliffe says: "Let your voice be heard"
Campaigner Natalie Ratcliffe says: "Let your voice be heard"

“It is imperative that people fill in the survey. Public opinion counts. The CCGs will claim the public are not engaging with the consultation and use this as a mandate to push the proposal through.

“Don’t sit back! Fill in the survey! We have less than a week to show our opinion counts.”

Local politicians including Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney, Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff and Kirklees Green Party leader Andrew Cooper posted photos of themselves completing the survey to encourage others to follow suit.

Filling out Right Care Right Time Right Place survey: Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney

Campaigners have also complained that the questionnaire misleads respondents into accepting the basics of the proposal, namely having one emergency care centre and one planned care centre.

Ms Brook added: “Whilst low engagement is disappointing; the responses to questions supplied to the CCG remain unacceptable to most people who’ve responded.”

Filling out Right Care Right Time Right Place survey: Kirklees Green Party leader Andrew Cooper

Under the Right Care Right Time Right Place 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.