A COUNCIL panel believes the public wants Kirklees and Calderdale hospitals to get foundation trust status.
A council scrutiny panel has decided that the majority support the `inevitable' change.
After consulting health bodies, it has given its views on how Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust's application to be in the first wave of foundation trusts could affect local health services.
The Ad Hoc Scrutiny Review into Foundation Trust Status consulted health organisations across Kirklees.
Foundation trusts are a new idea to improve NHS effectiveness.
Legislation to get them started is currently going through Parliament.
If approved, foundation status would allow top performing hospitals to operate outside central Government control.
The foundation trusts would have greater control over spending and borrowing money.
They would have to operate to the terms of a licence and plough any leftover funds back into services.
The panel concluded that change was inevitable and that most people supported it, saying: "It is best to be in at the beginning and part of the first wave, effectively managing any uncertainties than to join at a later stage, when there would be less financial support and guidance available."
But the panel has made some recommendations to meet concerns raised by the organisations that it consulted.
The panel wants any future foundation trust to share its license agreement and other policies with key local health agencies, like primary care trusts, before submitting them for Government approval.
Those in favour of the foundation trusts say they would help tailor services to the need of local communities and increase patient involvement.
West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority, Kirklees Social Services, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust and the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust all support the plans.
Primary care trusts - who look after community health services - supported the idea, but were concerned that their work could be sidelined because foundation status was being concentrated on hospitals and not on wider community health care.
Those against foundation hospitals, including public services union Unison, claim staff and resources will migrate to foundation trusts, leaving poorer performing hospitals in a worse state.
They say the trusts would be less accountable than current Government-controlled trusts.
The Kirklees panel recommended that budgets for administration costs and the new trust's board of governors should be separate from budgets allocated for patient care.
The panel wants all governors to be properly trained and the NHS trust's current governors to serve on any new board for a year.
Panel members want assurances steps will be taken to stop staff leaving lower-rated hospitals and flocking to top foundation hospitals.