The town’s biggest fears over proposed changes to our hospitals have been revealed.
Healthwatch Kirklees has called on the Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Clinical Commission Groups to answer serious questions which have arisen from public concerns over the proposals to shut our A&E.
The patients’ group said: “People were concerned about the distance to travel to Calderdale, even in a blue light ambulance.
“This theme also included the amount of traffic during peak times, roadworks, potential flooding and road traffic accidents therefore additional travel time to Calderdale hospital could be a life or death situation.”
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It asks the CCGs: “How much time could these factors add to the journey?”
Another concern high on the list was that ambulance services would be too stretched after patients who don’t drive would have to call an ambulance to avoid the taxi fees to Halifax.
The report said: “People were concerned if they didn’t drive they would have to call an ambulance as they couldn’t afford the expense of a taxi.
“How could this situation be improved for those who did not have the means to travel long distances?”
The questions will also be posed to Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
A formal consultation over changes to HRI is expected to last 15 weeks but it is yet to start.
Healthwatch also highlighted the community’s fears over having to rely on public transport, pressures of increased waiting times at Calderdale and Kirklees’ increasing ageing and overall population.
The document claims: “New homes and student accommodation add additional pressures.
“Alongside this the UK is an ageing population, who tend to have a greater need of emergency services.”
“Please provide calculations as to how the growing population and student numbers in Huddersfield will impact the A&E in Calderdale.”
The document goes on to say: “People commented that they felt that money was seen as more important than people’s lives”, while adding that there were fears for Huddersfield’s mental health services in proposed Urgent Care Centres.
The Centres would be opened to provide care to those with urgent but not life-threatening problems.