BREAST cancer fundraisers have hit out after it was confirmed that patients will move from Huddersfield to Halifax next month.
All breast and gynaecology in-patients will be treated at the Calderdale Royal Hospital from March.
A new unit has been set up at the Halifax hospital.
The move comes as part of a massive change in the way hospital services are provided in Huddersfield and Halifax.
It was one of a number of controversial schemes agreed by health chiefs last year, despite a storm of protest.
Others in the pipeline include the move of some maternity services from Huddersfield to Halifax.
The new Halifax unit will cater for women needing overnight stays following operations or minor procedures.
It will also be used for those admitted in an emergency.
But today fundraisers who have spent the last decade campaigning to help the specialist breast unit in Huddersfield expressed disappointment.
John Woodhead, chairman of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Breast Clinic Appeal - which has raised £1m for Huddersfield patients - said: "While I'm sure the new unit in Halifax will be fine, it does not alter the fact that the trust management have destroyed a unique breast care facility for the people of Huddersfield.
"Whatever those people involved might say the consultative procedure was clearly a sham, which is a view no doubt echoed by the majority of Huddersfield residents.
"It is unlikely that we will be supporting the new unit in Halifax.
"We will, however, make sure the remaining money is spent in Huddersfield."
The new unit - in Wards 4c and 4d - will offer women care by a specialist nursing team in either single rooms with en suite facilities or in four-bed wards. Only in-patients will be moved to the new site.
All other breast and gynaecology patients - including those undergoing day case surgery and outpatient appointments - will continue at HRI.
Consultant breast surgeon Shabana Iqbal said: "The accommodation and facilities are very good and are well-designed to meet the needs of our patients.
"Looking ahead, it appears to be an excellent, well-co-ordinated site for our patients and staff."
Gynaecology and obstetrics consultant Martin de Bono said: "This is the first step towards an improved service for the women of Huddersfield and Calderdale.
"The many advantages of centralising in-patient care include increased consultant and senior doctor availability and the concentration of clinical expertise on one site."