PRIME Minister Tony Blair has told the Examiner he knows how strongly Huddersfield people feel about planned hospital changes.
He told editor Roy Wright he has been briefed by local MPs on concerns over the plans, which could see many services moved away from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
But Mr Blair inferred that he would NOT intervene.
He said decisions on health services should be made locally, not nationally.
Mr Blair was responding to letters from the Examiner, expressing grave concerns about the plans by local heath chiefs.
Tens of thousands of people have signed petitions and taken part in marches opposing the plans, which could see services including some maternity and children's care switched to the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.
Roy says: "We wrote to Mr Blair after Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt announced sweeping proposals aimed at bringing healthcare closer to home.
"It seems what's proposed in our area is totally at odds with this policy.
"We wanted Mr Blair to step in - but it appears he won't. I await Ms Hewitt's response with interest.
"It's an issue of paramount importance. We won't let it drop."
A decision on the proposals is to be made at a meeting at the Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield, on March 22.