The majority of Kirklees GPs are against a proposal which would close Huddersfield’s A&E.
More than half (59%) of the borough’s 200 GPs backed a statement by Kirklees Local Medical Committee (LMC) condemning the Right Care Right Time Right Place plan.
And nine out of 10 of the Kirklees GPs, who responded to the survey, agreed with the LMC’s statement that the proposal ‘leaves more questions than it answers’.
Support for the plan ran short.
Just 7% of GPs who responded to the survey disagreed with the statement by the LMC which represents the 67 GP surgeries in Kirklees.
And those practices that backed the LMC’s statement included damning remarks about the proposal.
One surgery said: “The closure of Huddersfield A&E and shift of services to Halifax is a disaster. It will leave the whole of Kirklees without accident and emergency services.
“I don’t know how this is acceptable on any level.”
GPs were asked if they agreed with the LMC’s statement expressing concerns about the Right Care Right Time Right Place (RCRTRP) plan.
The statement, which outlines the impact RCRTRP could have on primary care, ambulance services and other health providers, concluded that the plan ‘leaves more questions than it answers’.
Taking into account the 34% of Kirklees GPs who failed to respond, the survey still revealed an overall majority (59%) against the RCRTRP proposal.
Under the RCRTRP plan Huddersfield Royal Infirmary will be demolished and replaced with a smaller hospital which will have an urgent care unit – but no A&E.
Emergency care will be centralised at an expanded Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH), Halifax.
The plan is estimated to require just under £500m of government investment.
But the LMC report said: “45 of the 67 (67%) practices in Kirklees responded and 90% of them expressed significant concerns about the RCRTRP proposal by supporting (the) Kirklees LMC statement.
“In other words, 90% of the GPs that responded to the survey are opposed to the RCRTRP proposals.”
One general practice commented: “It is completely stupid that the CCG want to give up Huddersfield hospital, which they physically own, to rent CRH and a new Acre Mills hospital at an extortionate rate.
“The £500m estimate is totally incorrect.
“If I was the owner of CRH I would make sure I get hefty payouts if the trust wanted to make changes to the building.”
One surgery did, however, show support for RCRTRP, saying it was the “best way of keeping as many services locally as possible.”
One of the key authors behind RCRTRP, Greater Huddersfield CCG clinical director Dr Steve Ollerton, questioned the validity of the survey.
The Skelmanthorpe GP told a Kirklees Council health panel: “They asked their membership if they agreed with their statement to which they gave responses of yes or no.
“Saying you agree with the statement is not the same as saying whether you agree with the proposals.”
A spokesperson for Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs, the local NHS organisations behind RCRTRP, said: “NHS Calderdale and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCGs are now in a period of deliberation and are taking the time to carefully review and consider the Consultation Report of Findings.
“It is important we understand the depth and detail of what people have said – both the concerns raised as well as the acknowledgement of the need to change the way we deliver services in order to continue to provide high quality, sustainable and safe care that meets national standards – before developing any recommendations on what next steps may look like.”