Just a handful of people attended one public information session on the biggest shake-up of hospital services in a generation.
A paltry 11 people attended a drop-in session, organised by health chiefs behind the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal which could close Huddersfield’s A&E.
The session, at the DRAM Centre, Dalton, on April 21, was one of several poorly-attended drop-in events organised by local NHS chiefs during a consultation on the controversial plan.
The consultation ends at midnight on Tuesday and as of Monday afternoon, health chiefs had received 5,049 completed surveys, accounting for 1.4% of Huddersfield and Calderdale’s population.
Some sessions had over 100 visitors – the first drop-in at Slaithwaite Town Hall, on March 16, had 108, while another at Shelley College, on March 30, was attended by 147 people.
A drop-in at Holmfirth Civic Hall, on May 10, had 118 people in attendance.
But other sessions around Huddersfield suffered mediocre or meagre turnouts with 19, 22 and 25 at The Textile Centre, Leeds Road (May 14), Fartown Village Hall (May 26) and Huddersfield RUFC (June 9) respectively.
And in Calderdale the figures were even lower with just EIGHT people attending a session in Halifax, on May 18.
Just 11 and 14 people visited drop-ins at Ovenden and Greetland respectively.
It was a full house with 520 people at John Smith’s Stadium, on April 18.
But a subsequent public meeting at the venue, on June 6, was attended by 264 people – although 484 tickets were booked – according to organisers of the events.
And just 112 members of the public attended a public meeting at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax, on April 14.
Campaigners have accused local NHS chiefs behind Right Care Right Time Right Place of failing to publicise the sessions adequately. This claim has, however, been refuted by the health authorities behind the plan.
Hands Off HRI secretary, Natalie Ratcliffe, said: “The publicity for them was appalling. We tried to publicise them as best as we could but it’s not really our role to do that.
“They’ve been engaging on social media when they needed to be out and about.”
Jackie Brook, of Friends of HRI, added: “They’ve let down the very people they are supposed to protect and for that reason I believe it’s a flawed consultation.”
Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs (clinical commissioning groups), the health authorities behind RCRTRP, said they had informed a wide section of the population about the events.
A spokesperson said the CCGs had used a combination of advertising, direct leafleting and face-to-face meetings, as well as social media and media, to notify people of the sessions and meetings.
How many people attended the drop-in sessions?
Slaithwaite Town Hall, March 16 - 108
St Paul’s Methodist Church, Sowerby Bridge, March 17 - 26
Shelley College (New Hall), Shelley, March 30 - 147
Hebden Bridge Town Hall, April 5 - 31
Paddock J&I School, April 16 - 52
Central Methodist Church, Todmorden, April 20 - 47
DRAM Centre, Dalton, April 21 - 11
Reinwood Community Changing Rooms, April 28 - 59
Brighouse Civic Hall, April 30 - 34
Threeways Centre Ovenden, May 3 - 11
Holmfirth Civic Hall, May 10 - 118
Textile Centre, Leeds Road, May 14 - 19
Orangebox, Halifax, May 18 - 8
Fartown Village Hall May, 26 - 22
Clay House, Greetland, June 1 - 14
Huddersfield Rugby Union Football Club, Lockwood June 9 - 25
Meltham Sports and Community Centre June 15 (no data)