Kirklees’ MPs have urged caution around a 10-year plan to build a £300m state-of-the-art hospital to replace Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff said the 11th hour proposal, unveiled on Friday by Kirklees Council, was “overly ambitious.”
And she said whilst a revised plan from NHS bosses represented a U-turn it was still problematic, particularly around A&E provision.
The fight, she said, was not over.
“My constituency sits between Dewsbury District Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. I have grave concerns about ambulance travel times if the only available acute emergency treatment is at Wakefield or Halifax.
“Kirklees is an area with a population of 500,000 and needs a fully staffed, fully functioning A&E department to serve its population.
“I believe that NHS England’s new proposals for HRI prove that the fight to protect these vital local services is not over. Given the Conservatives’ refusal to properly fund local government, I am deeply concerned that Kirklees Council’s plan is overly ambitious given the tight constraints imposed on the council’s finances.”
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary is in the constituency of Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker.
She applauded Kirklees Council for planning ahead and presenting alternatives to the closure of HRI.
But she added: “I am yet to see any detail of this plan and I have reservations about its achievability.
“There is no information about the proposed location of the new hospital and no guarantees on where the money is coming from to build it.
“It is unclear what would happen in the meantime to the services which are under threat in Huddersfield and which have already been lost in Dewsbury .”
She has said that she will only support a proposal that guarantees improved accessibility for her constituents and has said they deserve access to a comprehensive A&E service that includes emergency ambulance admissions.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman declared himself “cautiously positive” on the revised proposals for reorganisation of hospital services in Huddersfield and Calderdale.
He urged that the “new thinking” around the authority’s proposal “must also be carefully evaluated.”
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “While I am pleased to see that plans to close HRI have finally been abandoned thanks to the dedicated and tireless campaigning of HandsoffHRI and the support of local Labour MPs, what is now being proposed will leave those with life-threatening conditions travelling by ambulance to another district.
“This is not good enough and we simply cannot continue to haemorrhage vital, life-saving services from Kirklees.”
On the Kirklees Council counter proposal for a new hospital, the MP went on to say: “Any proposals that enable my Batley and Spen constituents to be seen swiftly in a time of crisis are welcome - but a much greater level of detail is required and it must not be delivered at the expense of other services.”