Health chiefs behind a hospital shake-up plan have admitted they do not have figures on ambulance journey times from outlying areas of Huddersfield to A&E.
And those behind the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal say they have no immediate plans to obtain emergency ambulance travel times by area or postcode.
According to a study commissioned by authors of the plan, there will be ‘no significant disproportionate impacts’ on travel times if emergency services closed at either Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) or Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH), Halifax.
Watch dashcam video of rush-hour journey from St George's Square to HRI
But there were 4,700 blue light ambulance journeys from areas with HD7, HD8 and HD9 postcodes to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s (HRI) accident and emergency department, last year, according to figures obtained under Freedom of Information.
That means villages across the Holme Valley, the Colne Valley and the Dearne valley.
This has prompted concerns as to whether ambulance travel times, from outlying areas of Huddersfield to the emergency care centre at CRH, will be dangerously long.
Under Right Care Right Time Right Place (RCRTRP) HRI’s A&E department will close.
Coupled with the proposed closure of emergency services at Dewsbury District Hospital, this means the nearest full emergency services will be at Halifax, Barnsley, Wakefield and Oldham.
Ambulance travel times, according to location or postcode, could be obtained from ‘raw data’ held by Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS).
But Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups, the NHS organisation behind the proposals, have admitted they have no immediate plans to obtain the data.
A CCGs spokesperson said: “The CCGs do not have (an) agreement with YAS to extract blue light ambulance times by area/postcode from the raw data.
“If the proposed changes to hospital services are approved, the CCGs would then start to plan for implementation.
“This could take up to five years.
“As part of implementation planning, the CCGs would work with YAS to ensure that resources are agreed to enable them to meet response times and convey patients to an emergency centre.”
Local NHS campaigner Jenny Shepherd said it was ‘ridiculous’ the CCGs lacked ‘the most basic information’.
She said: “That is ridiculous. How can the CCGs consult the public on proposals that they haven’t bothered to gather the most basic information about how they will affect patient safety?
“It is yet another reason for the (Kirklees and Calderdale) Joint Health Scrutiny Committee to refer the deeply flawed and inadequate consultation to the Secretary of State for Health, to stop it going ahead until it’s fit for purpose.”