A key committee has backed a pressure group’s opposition to the proposed closure of the A&E department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
The influential Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, made up of councillors from Calderdale and Kirklees, met at Halifax Town Hall on Friday and issued a detailed report outlining shortcomings in the plans.
They have triggered massive opposition in Huddersfield with thousands of residents outraged that a town its size would be left without its own A&E department.
The decision on whether the plan will go ahead is expected to be revealed on October 20.
Mike Forster, chairman of Hands Off HRI, issued a hard-hitting statement following the meeting saying the committee had delivered a “withering verdict on the Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) plans for the future of health service provision in West Yorkshire.
He said: “They have unanimously adopted 19 recommendations to go forward to the CCG which in effect propose that the existing plans is flawed and must be reconsidered.
“Their recommendations will be considered by the CCG on October 20 at their final meeting to decide on the future of Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals.
“The CCG would be extremely short-sighted and foolish not to heed the committee’s warnings, all of which bear out the evidence which Hands Off HRI has been submitting to both the CCG and elected politicians.
“Hands Off HRI is delighted with these findings. They completely vindicate our 10 month long campaign.
“Drs Steve Ollerton and Alan Brook, chairmen of the Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs, have been found out.
“Their plan lacks credibility and will completely fail to meet local health needs.
“We will be instructing our solicitors over the weekend to discuss our next move.
“The evidence from Joint Scrutiny has blown apart everything the CCG has been planning.
“If they don’t back down now then we will be seeking immediate redress through legal channels.
“We would like to thank the councillors for their work and we congratulate them on their report.”