A Huddersfield-born hospital chief has said a controversial hospital shake-up plan will not solve NHS problems in the town.
But Mike Ramsden, chairman of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital Trust, says he fears the Right Care Right Time Right Place plan will go ahead eventually anyway.
And Mr Ramsden, who has been a vocal opponent of the plan since its announcement in January, says local hospital chiefs have failed to win public support for their proposal and need to think again.
He adds that Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS chiefs have damaged their plan by presenting only one option which proposes the centralisation of emergency care at CRH.
Mr Ramsden, who grew up in Holmfirth, said: “They’ve failed to convince people of the case for change and in a situation like that they need to think again.
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“Trying to convince people that there’s no other solution and it has to be in Halifax – because that’s the only place they can afford – hasn’t worked.”
He added: “I’m not convinced there’s a case for one emergency centre for the factors they’ve put forward, like a staffing shortage. There’s a staff shortage across the NHS and their plan won’t solve that.”
Mr Ramsden said he had sympathy for Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs (clinical commissioning groups), the local NHS organisations behind the plan.
“I’ve some sympathy for them; they are financially challenged and there’s the state of repair of HRI,” he said.
“But when putting forward radical changes – and this is radical – they have to make a case that people are comfortable with and they’ve not done that.
“I can’t see how they can go ahead when there’s overwhelming opposition.”
But Mr Ramsden said the plan was likely to go ahead eventually.
“I don’t believe they will abandon it,” he said. “There may be a bit of deferment.”
Yet he added: “They believe they have come up with the right solution and they have to follow it.”