A heart attack patient has claimed he would be dead if he had been forced to travel to Halifax for treatment.

And he has issued fulsome praise for the A & E staff in the town.

David Jagger, from Golcar, says he owes his life to doctors at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Mr Jagger’s comments come as health chiefs ponder a new blueprint for health care in the region.

The proposals could see either Halifax or Huddersfield lose its A&E or both units downgraded and the most seriously ill patients sent to a bigger specialist centre.

The proposals, first aired last week, are still being shaped, but officials say keeping things as they are is “unlikely”.

There has been a storm of protest over the proposals which are set go out for public consultation.

Mr Jagger, said: “A number of years ago I had a major heart attack and went to the Royal Infirmary by blue light ambulance.

“The paramedics were fantastic but on arrival at HRI I had a second heart attack.

“The response team was again wonderful but my wife was told I needed a clot-busting drug that had to be administered within 20 minutes.

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“Obviously it worked as I am still here, although it was touch and go.

“Had the HRI A&E been downgraded, or moved to Calderdale, I doubt very much if I would have survived due to the time and the traffic problems on the Elland bypass.

“I needed that drug and if I was travelling between hospitals in an ambulance I don’t think I could have got it.

“I’d imagine it would be a consultant that would have to decide that.”

Mr Jagger, 70, said he was opposed to any cuts to A&E.

And he said he owed a debt to A&E doctors who discovered a host of other serious health problems that his GP had missed.

He added: “Both towns need their own full hospital facilities – why fix something that isn’t broken?

“I feel sorry for the ladies having babies – it must be frightening thinking you have to go to Calderdale when you’re in labour.

“The only way I can see to improve it is to introduce a helicopter service between the two hospitals and I can’t see that happening.”

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