Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s “bombshell” plan to demolish and rebuiild the hospital have raised concerns from the town’s MP.
“Furious” Labour MP Barry Sheerman said there would be no guarantees of funding to secure the project and no guarantee of what care could be provided.
And he said the proposed consultation period was far too short for such a scheme.
Resident Arnold Wood has his say
Hospital bosses have confirmed the plan to switch full A&E provision to Calderdale Royal Hospital is part of a bigger scheme.
That would see the existing Royal Infirmary in Acre Street demolished and a new hospital built across the road on the Acre Mills site.
It would include operating theatres and a number of wards for what is described as “planned care”, but not a full A&E unit.
Mr Sheerman said: “If they really wanted to cause worry and concern among the entire population of Huddersfield, this is the way to do it.
“Talk of a new hospital is to me a sop to gloss over the planned changes to A&E.
“It is a very short consultation period for such a big issue that will impact on so many people for such a long time.
”And nowhere in the documents I have seen or the talks I have had has anyone come up with a cast-iron guarantee as to how these plans can be funded”.
He described the plan as a complete U-turn by health chiefs who had earlier been said to be in favour of closing the A & E unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital and centralising casualty care in Huddersfield. Now documents revealed to Mr Sheerman show that the favoured option is to shut down the Royal Infirmary unit and move everything to Calderdale.
Health chiefs are set to meet next Wednesday at Huddersfield’s Briar Court Hotel and begin the final, formal consultation on the controversial move.
Mr Sheerman and his colleague, Colne Valley’s Jason McCartney, have both insisted the move is to shore up the controversial Private Finance Initiative which funded the Calderdale Royal Hospital.
Mr Sheerman said: “Health chiefs in Halifax got into serious debt and negotiated a very poor PFI contract to secure the new hospital.
“In Huddersfield we had a very well-run health and hospital service but we were persuaded to merge with Calderdale.
“Now we are being told by the Clinical Commissioning groups that because of that PFI we will have to make the move and send all our people to Halifax for care.
“It makes me furious and I am sure it will make everyone in the town furious.”