A HEALTH worker has predicted "serious problems" when a Huddersfield hospital closes.
St Luke’s Hospital in Crosland Moor is due to shut next year.
It remains unclear if or when inpatient mental health services would return to Huddersfield once that happens.
But a member of staff has warned that services will deteriorate.
The employee, who did not want to be identified, said: "The South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust intends to move in-patient services from Huddersfield to Halifax and Dewsbury.
"This would be hugely unfair and cause serious problems for service users and their families due to travel issues.
"This move has not been discussed with staff and would lead to serious transport problems for many staff."
The employee added: "The decisions that are being made are purely motivated by financial issues, not quality of care.
"It’s clearly not in the best interests of the public for inpatient mental health services to disappear from Huddersfield."
St Luke’s currently has two wards and outpatients clinics for psychological therapies.
The hospital is also used by administration staff and community mental health teams.
The employee also sent the Examiner a confidential staff briefing document.
It states: "We are committed to coming off the site and can not sustain services there beyond 2012.
"We are ideally looking for a solution to come off the site by the end of 2010."
The trust document also includes concerns about security at St Luke’s.
It says: "It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain safety and security as the site is retracted."
A health trust spokeswoman said there had been "a number of minor issues, including vandalism".
The spokeswoman also spelled out the closure plans.
She said: "We have known since 2006 that inpatient services are not sustainable at St Luke’s and are looking to an interim solution that involves using existing mental health facilities in Halifax and Dewsbury.
"This will allow us time to carefully consider and plan for the longer term so that we have flexible services to support local people.
"Ideally, we would like to relocate services on an interim basis by the end of next year, but it could be March 2011.
"Moves are not imminent therefore and we will work hard to make sure services users and their families are informed and supported as we progress with this."