Plans by NHS bosses which may see a full-scale A&E unit axed in either Huddersfield or Halifax, have sent shockwaves through both communities.

Hospital managers plan talks later this year, but already there are concerns over the potential loss of a unit at either the Royal Infirmary or Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Many have taken to social media to express their concerns:

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Chris Maloney: As we in Yorkshire are miles away from Westminster could we not request the cost as foreign aid? Surely it’s better to look after your own rather than giving it away all the time.

Chris Walkden: Pathetic. One of the richest countries on the planet and we can’t afford to have an A&E at all or most hospitals.

Rayne Sutcliffe: Might be saving loads of money but they are putting lives at risk. What are they thinking?

Christopher Michael Baksa: Why don’t they close them all down so that we can have the pleasure and a possible chance of living, by driving down to that other country they call London, where it is sure nothing will close there

Steven Colberto: Disgraceful plans.

ON FACEBOOK

Kim Byrne: Marvellous, just close HRI altogether because it’s bound to be Huddersfield losing services again!

Mary Bunting: They both need to stay open, Huddersfield covers a wide area and so does Halifax.

Sue Carr: Halifax maternity is struggling since everything has moved there. Same thing will happen but do they care people may lose their life? No. Every town/city should have an A&E department

Paul Marriott: Why don’t they close both and centralise in London. The clueless buffoons.

Cheryl Lola Mcguire: Who the hell comes up with these ridiculous ideas?

Natalie Hawkins: Disgusting they’re closing the service to save money when it should be lives they’re saving and putting first, not the money. You can’t put a price on life!!

Wendy Melvin Greenall: That is ridiculous when people’s lives could be at stake. It cuts both ways people having to go to A & E from the outskirts of Huddersfield and people from the outskirts of Halifax which ever they close.

Em Smith: Maternity ward gone, children’s ward gone... take the chuffing A&E too... Ridiculous.

Samantha Pollitt Cook: We live in Huddersfield but if one of three children need A&E we have to go to Halifax because there are no paediatrics at HRI. If they close Halifax where do we take our children in an emergency?

Db Clive: Absolutely ridiculous idea, sack the management who came up with this one. That would be the best way to save money in the health service

Chelsea Louise: Pathetic. A & E and emergency services can save lives.

Patients’ group Healthwatch Kirklees has called for calm amid the fury that an A&E unit could be axed.

The charity has urged a sensible and informed debate over the future of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Healthwatch Kirklees Director, Rory Deighton, said “We need to learn from the debate around Mid Yorkshire Trust and Dewsbury hospital, and make sure that over the next six months we have a proper, open and informed discussion that explores what is best for people in Kirklees.

“At this point, all we have is a number of different options.

“The Clinical Commissioning Group has been really clear that that’s what they are and that no decisions have been made.

“We can make this debate all about maternity services and A&E if you want – but the bigger changes will occur in moving millions of pounds worth of services out of hospitals, and into community based health services.

So let’s not just debate travel time to A&E, let’s discuss travel time in general and understand if people will receive more services in their own homes, or with their GP and overall travel much less.

“Let’s understand the clinical improvements that patients will supposedly get from having each hospital specialising in an area.

“Let’s understand the extended hours that each hospital will be able to offer, and the 7 day a week NHS that we are told GPs want to offer.

Huddersfield and Calderdale A&E shake-up questions answered  

“Let’s talk about hospital parking charges for people visiting A&E, or and the eligibility criteria for patient transport services.”

Mr Deighton said that everyone had a part to play in improving the quality of the discussion before the official consultation began.

“Its early days, and it’s unrealistic to expect fully formed answers to all of these questions,” he added.

Healthwatch Kirklees says it will be watching the issue closely and will put questions directly to the strategic review team before publicising responses on its website www.healthwatchkirklees.co.uk

Call on 01924 450379 or email any questions relating to the changes direct to info@healthwatchkirklees.co.uk