He warned all was not well when plans to build Calderdale Royal Hospital emerged.

Now, more than 20 years on, Dr Bob Heys fears his warnings will ring true.

In the mid to late 1990s, consultant gynaecologist Dr Heys, led a campaign protesting at the loss of beds planned in Halifax.

His campaign, Calderdale Against Smaller Hospitals (CASH), was joined by many who were worried that the planned new Salterhebble premises would not be adequate for the borough.

A second campaign dubbed Calderdale Concernced Citizens, led by late councillor Stephen Pearson, warned of the dangers of PFI.

Dr Heys and Clr Pearson worked together to try and persuade health bosses to think again.

Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax
Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax

Ultimately they were unsuccessful and the construction of Calderdale Royal was forced through by politicians.

Dr Heys, 86, said at the time they were concerned the hospital was being downsized and built with private money.

He said: “The private finance initiative was the main concern but we thought it would probably lead to a smaller hospital in Calderdale, hence the name of the group.

“The PFI led to a reduction of beds in Halifax.

“There was concern and indignation that the royal hospital was so expensive.”

Dr Heys wife Margaret, 87, who worked as a nurse, added: “Donald Thompson, who was the MP at the time, said if we didn’t accept it we wouldn’t get a new hospital at all.

“No alternative was put on the table.

Watch: Shocking video shows ambulance battle through rush-hour traffic towards Calderdale Royal Hospital

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“People took notice of him so they were all in favour of accepting the PFI, with trepidation. I don’t think many people were for it but they were worried about not getting a hospital at all.”

Dr Heys, who in 2000 warned about the hastily arranged merger between Huddersfield and Halifax hospitals, said it was sad that the two towns were now fighting for NHS cash.

“Both are big enough to warrant their own hospitals,” he said.

READ MORE: Hands off HRI: Government minister denies PFI deal is behind A&E closure plan

READ MORE: Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman calls for inquiry into PFI deal behind Calderdale Royal Hospital

Sir Donald Thompson was a Conservative MP first elected for Sowerby in 1979. Upon boundary changes, he held Calder Valley from 1983 until his defeat in the 1997 Labour landslide.

Knighted in 1992 he died in 2005 aged 73.