Councillors have warned health bosses that the targets in a plan to save Kirklees’ NHS £208m may be ‘impossible’ to achieve.
And Kirklees cabinet members complained of a ‘disconnect’ between funding available and ambitious service targets in the controversial Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).
Aims in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP include restoring the target of seeing 95% of A&E patients within four hours.
The in-debt trust which runs Huddersfield Royal Infirmary has failed to achieve this target consistently since 2014.
Other STP aims include:
- A 40% reduction in the number of patients presenting at A&Es with mental health problems;
- The ‘elimination’ of mental health patients being sent outside the area for treatment;
- A wait of no longer than 18 weeks between referral and treatment for 92% of patients;
- A wait of no longer than 28 days for cancer diagnoses for 95% of patients.
But at a meeting between Kirklees NHS chiefs and councillors, Labour cabinet members Shabir Pandor and Viv Kendrick warned health bosses that the targets may be impossible to achieve without more funding.
Indeed, NHS chiefs have admitted that the plan, if implemented, would still leave Kirklees’ NHS with a £40m shortfall.
Clr Pandor complained of a ‘disconnect’ in the STP which aims to save the region over £1bn by 2021.
Kirklees cabinet member for health Viv Kendrick added: “All the leaders of West Yorkshire councils are terribly unhappy and unsure about this.
“It’s missing something.
“I know our funding is nose diving and demand is going up. We are stuck with funding that is impossible. I get told that my portfolio is overspending by miles.”
But West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP director Rob Webster said a ‘different way of working’ was essential for dealing with the unprecedented demand on the NHS.
He said: “The only way to get through these tough times is by working together in health and local government.
“The old method has been different organisations working against each other.”
Mr Webster said the STP was at a draft stage and ‘debate and consultation’ was necessary before it could go forward.
Under RCRTRP Huddersfield Royal Infirmary would be demolished and replaced with a smaller hospital with an urgent care centre but no emergency care unit.