Protesters demanding a so-called Plan B for health care in Huddersfield have been warned to be careful what they wish for.
Health bosses have spent three years investigating plans for hospital services in Huddersfield and Calderdale.
They have settled on plans for an ‘urgent care centre’ in Huddersfield to replace out-dated Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
The district’s accident and emergency would be provided at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax with the old HRI demolished.
Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) considered 11 options but are consulting on just one.
Critics have questioned why there’s only one plan on the table and say there must be a Plan B.
There has been a huge public outcry with thousands taking to the streets of Huddersfield in protest and hundreds shut out of a public meeting at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Dr David Hughes, a Holmfirth GP and one of eight family doctors on the CCG board, said the level of public opposition had to be listened to, if there were genuine concerns that hadn’t been considered.
He added: “If we are going to go down a different route someone must come up with a better idea.
“The health community has been working on this for three years. If someone came up with something better, sustainable and likely to be affordable, of course we will listen.
Reporter Dave Himelfield on the latest HRI development
“But my concern is that if this doesn’t go ahead and there is a Plan B it could be that we don’t have acute care at all in Calderdale or Huddersfield.
“If this gets turned down by the powers that be then Plan B could see acute care taken away from Halifax and Huddersfield. It would then be provided in Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield and possibly Barnsley.”
CCG chief officer Carol McKenna said there had to be change.
“Plan B could never be leaving things as they are,” she said. “It would be irresponsible if we knew there were problems, that we were putting people’s health at risk in the future and we did nothing.
“We want to deliver against national standards and if we can’t do that someone will come along and tell us we can’t do this anymore.
“We want to be masters of our own destiny.”