Dr Mark Davies, the A&E director for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, says that ‘pooling expertise’ on one site will improve patient care.
Dr Davies said that the current set-up, where there are separate emergency care units at both hospitals, is ‘far from the best or safest way’ to deliver the service.
Currently, up to 10 critically ill patients per day are transferred between Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) and Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH), hospital chiefs say.
Dr Davies said: “Our ability to deliver safe, high quality care for all our patients is at the heart of the proposals.
“At the moment we are trying to provide the same services on both sites so we can accommodate any patient who comes through the door.
“If we pool our expertise on one site we can be sure we can manage all patients without the need to transfer.
“Of course, we currently have ways of making sure people are properly cared for in all circumstances, but it is still far from the best or safest way to deliver.”
Dr Julie O’Riordan, head of surgery and anaesthics at HRI and CRH, said having one emergency unit would improve staffing levels.
Dr O’Riordan said: “We currently have intensive care on both sites with all the issues of staffing up two sites round the clock.
“If you have one big unit, you will provide better care in terms of medical and nursing staffing and, as a result, improved compliance with best practice standards for critical care.”
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Dr O’Riordan added: “Currently we have patients on two medical assessment units.
“If patients on the unit at CRH need emergency surgery then they face a 999 blue-light ambulance transfer to come
“Having acute medicine and acute surgery on one site is a major improvement in the way this trust delivers care
for our patients.
“It means it is easier for doctors and surgeons from all acute specialities to work more closely together.”