Safety – or the perceived lack of it – was very much in the minds of people who completed the official hospital shake-up survey.
In the survey, into the controversial proposal which would close Huddersfield’s A&E, respondents believed that both Huddersfield and Halifax should have emergency departments.
The report found that respondents were sceptical about the care and availability of care they would receive under the Right Care Right Time Right Place plan - and how it could put patients’ lives at risk.
It said: “Respondents believed that emergency care was needed in both Calderdale and Huddersfield due to the size of both towns.”
Age of respondents
And the report found concern about patients’ safety should something go wrong during a routine operation at the new Huddersfield hospital, which would have no A&E.
A Huddersfield man, 62, wrote: “What happens when something unforeseen occurs during routine surgery? An emergency like this could be life threatening.
“(A) transfer to another hospital would be fraught with problems and again impacts on the ambulance service.”
A Huddersfield woman, 58, wrote on her questionnaire: “My health and that of my family will be put at risk to attempt to address issues of poor financial management in Calderdale.
“In making this proposal the duty to provide adequate services is being breached.”
Respondents were also doubtful as to how community-based healthcare – already beset by cuts – would be able to provide services currently delivered in hospitals.
Local NHS bosses hope to deliver more services at home and in GP surgeries and other community facilities under the sister Care Closer to Home plan.
But a 75-year-old Huddersfield woman said: “There is no evidence that Care Closer to Home will provide the required standard of care. There is no reliable evidence it will reduce acute and emergency hospital admissions...
“Care in the community is rarely the cheaper option it is portrayed as because more nursing staff is needed because only one patient can be seen at a time, also there is no back up of senior doctors and nurses to give advice.”