Campaigners fighting to save Huddersfield’s A&E have expressed concerns that lives will be lost if the department closes.
But in Northumberland, where three casualty departments were closed and replaced by a dedicated emergency care hospital, patients are receiving a better service.
That’s according to chiefs at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which runs 12 hospitals in the county.
Last year, A&E departments at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals were closed and replaced with urgent care centres.
All life-threatening emergencies are now sent to Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, a £75m dedicated emergency hospital 10 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which opened in June.
And according to the hospital trust, it has improved emergency care in the area.
Trust clinical director of emergency care, Dr Chris Biggin, said: “The driving force behind our changes to emergency care was to improve the clinical outcomes for our most seriously ill and injured patients and the early evidence is now very clear that the new system is bringing many benefits to patients.”
Under the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal, a newly built Huddersfield Royal Infirmary would focus on planned care with an urgent care centre for non life-threatening cases.
Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, would focus on emergency care.
Dr Biggin said: “Having the right specialists available seven days a week and senior clinical decision-makers on hand around the clock, means we can start treatment much sooner than we’ve been able to in the past and get patients home much earlier.
“This is a ringing endorsement of the new model of emergency care and our teams who are working extremely hard to treat increasing numbers of people as quickly as possible.”