PLANS to expand services at the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital have been delayed because of a row over staffing.
Mr Jonathan Himsworth, acting chief executive of the GP-led South Huddersfield Primary Care Trust, told a board meeting that negotiations with the hospital trust which owns the building for the PCT to take over the hospital had stalled over staffing.
He added: "I am not sure that the plans were fully thought out in terms of service strategy and staff."
Chairman John Chilton was unhappy at the delay over the transfer.
He said: "I am surprised it has received such little thought, considering it has been on the cards for so long."
The hospital is owned and run by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, which also runs Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
The PCT is aiming to take over the Holmfirth hospital, which was bought by public subscription in memory of soldiers from the district who died in the First World War.
Mrs Kathleen Kaye, representing the Honley Health and Sickness Charity, said she was worried about the future of the hospital.
"It is more convenient to use than the HRI," she said.
"Parking is easier and it would be more handy for people if consultant outpatient clinics were held there."
Mrs Anita Hirst, a member of the GP trust's professional executive committee, said: "We recognise local feeling. We are all trying to expand the use and do not want to make it any harder for local people to have to travel.
"We are trying to bring more services into the community, to make them more convenient."
Mrs Margaret Dale, a non-executive director, asked: "Why is it taking so long? Why has it not been thought through properly over the last six months?
"The issue of staff cannot have come as a surprise. Is it going to be resolved in the near future or is it going to drag on for months?"
Mr Himsworth said he hoped to resolve the issue quickly.
Mr Chilton added: "We are entitled to stress our impatience with the hospital trust about the pace of developments. I do not think the delay is on our side."
Dr Yusuf Shamsee, a Holmfirth GP, said he shared Mr Himsworth's impatience at the speed of the transfer.
But he also said it was essential to get the staff "on board".
Dr Shamsee added: "I am sure we will see something happening in the next six to 12 months."