FUNDRAISERS who have spent the last decade campaigning for top class breast care in Huddersfield today slammed proposals to shift surgery to Halifax.
And they vowed to fight the proposals "tooth and nail".
John Woodhead, chairman of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Breast Clinic Appeal said the people of Huddersfield had been "conned" into paying for a breast unit in the town.
His comments came after it emerged how breast surgery - including mastectomies - is included in proposals put forward by health chiefs to shift planned surgery to Calderdale Royal Hospital.
Mr Woodhead said: "They are taking away from Huddersfield something that the people of this town have paid for.
"That is the bottom line.
"How can they have the gall to do this without even talking to us about it?
"We are appalled.
"It shows an absolute disregard for the people of this town and disrespect for 35 years of top class breast care in Huddersfield.
"They have just allowed us to continue pumping cash in.
"We get the feeling we were conned."
The HRI Breast Clinic Appeal was set up in 1989 by Bill Exley to raise cash for breast cancer patients in Huddersfield.
Bill's late wife Joyce - who died in 1991 - was undergoing treatment for breast cancer at the time.
Mr Exley, of New Mill, said: "She had to have her chemotherapy on the ear, nose and throat unit at HRI because there were no facilities.
"We thought how can we make this better?"
The couple began their fundraising mission which rapidly grew.
In 1994, a major campaign was launched in association with the Examiner which raised £300,000 for a pioneering breast care suite and oncology unit.
The charity has since spent more than £750,000 funding new equipment, research and a range of activities for breast cancer sufferers.
It has spent more than £100,000 in the last two years alone funding new scanning equipment that the unit could otherwise not afford.
Mr Exley said: "People out there have willingly given us money - many of them in memory of people they have lost.
"I don't think anything should go to Halifax.
"We are going to fight this tooth and nail."
MEMBERS of the public can air their views on the proposed hospital changes in Huddersfield tonight.
Health chiefs will host a public meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall between 6pm and 9pm.
They are expected to face fierce criticism over some of the plans - notably the plan to move maternity services and breast clinic surgery to Halifax.
A second public meeting is planned for Holmfirth Civic Hall on Monday, November 7, from 6pm to 9pm.