Service Reconfiguration

10.08.18

Health bosses ditch plans to close down Yorskhire A&E, but campaigners fight back

Proposals to close A&E services at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) have been scrapped by NHS bosses.

Original plans looked to replace HRI with a smaller 64-bed unit and realign A&E services to Halifax. But following former health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s call on management in May to reconsider the proposals, new plans indicate that it will remain open, whilst patients with “serious life-threatening conditions” will be taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) in Halifax. Consequently, HRI will receive just self-presenting patients, the hospital’s progress report shows. Patients requiring acute inpatient admission who present at HRI will be transferred by ambulance from HRI to CRH.

In its final progress report for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, health bosses wrote: “We want to offer as many services as locally as possible and ensure a strong future for both HRI and Calderdale Royal Infirmary. For the services that we cannot maintain on two sites we want to maintain access to them within Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield – hence we propose a consultant led A&E on both sites and the creation of single expert teams for a number of services.

“These proposals mean that the majority of people who need to go to hospital still get their care from their local hospital. A far greater number of people will receive care without having to go to hospital at all.”

The foundation trust noted that there will continue to be a clinical decision unit at both hospitals, and 24/7 anaesthetic cover will be provided at HRI to enable the safe delivery of A&E services.

A single expert team model at CRH will be put in place for critical, emergency surgical, and paediatric surgical services. Bed capacity across both hospitals will remain unchanged.

Chair Philip Lewer said: “The trust has worked with NHS England, NHS Improvement, and our two local CCGs to develop the response to the secretary of state and the recommendations set out by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel and that response has been sent today.”

Campaigners fight back: ‘Plans are half-baked reworking of original proposal’

Local campaigners, however, were not convinced by the new plan. Pressure group Hands Off HRI, which in March won the right to a judicial review against the intent to demolish the Huddersfield hospital, said the redeveloped proposals “are a half-baked reworking of the original business case.”

“They claim to be maintaining two A&Es but in reality, the Huddersfield Centre will be self-referring; all emergencies will be redirected to Halifax and all acute and emergency care will be dealt with at Halifax,” the group said in a statement.

“Although they now recognise that PFI money is now no longer appropriate and expect more capital funding, they are in reality proposing an accident centre at Huddersfield with all emergencies redirected to Halifax. This is not enough and our campaign group will oppose them all the way.”

The fresh proposals also do not reference the future of the existing hospital at HRI, the campaigners said, but instead imply that the building will be demolished and fall back on the Acre Mill site as a planned care centre – a move which campaigners said is “totally unacceptable.”

“The CCG and trusts have ignored our independent surveyors report which clearly states the HRI has a long future for at least another 60 years,” the statement continued. “In reality the CCG and trusts have laboured for three months and produced a warmed through version of their failed business case. This will strengthen our legal case if it becomes necessary.”

Campaigners also criticised NHS England and NHS Improvement for simply endorsing the new plan “without considering any other ideas” or without attending meetings of the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, the body which originally referred the issue to the health secretary.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

15/02/2019‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

NHS targets “have had their day” according to Lord Prior as the head of the health service launches an attack on 25 years of flawed h... more >
Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

15/02/2019Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

A major reorganisation of stroke services across Kent and Medway have been approved following a unanimous decision by the Joint Committee of CCGs... more >
A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

15/02/2019A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

A&E waiting time performances in NHS trusts in England have hit their lowest level since regards began, according to the latest NHS statistic... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated th... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

14/02/2019Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

Ahead EvoNorth we caught up with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership. Dr Tracy Vell MBE shares her thoughts on the Northern Powerhouse, what it means to her and why she thinks it’s important to attend EvoNorth.  What does your role as ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

14/02/2019Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

Sam Ward, director of commissioned services at the Royal Voluntary Service, argues that the right training can help harness the power of voluntee... more >
Leading and managing experts

14/02/2019Leading and managing experts

A coaching conversation is likely to yield the best results. Managing experts in the health industry can be a challenging and varying responsibil... more >
Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

14/02/2019Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

The health impacts of asbestos in the UK can cast a much wider net than those in the construction and building sector. Liz Darlison, head of serv... more >
ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

14/02/2019ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

Peter Brown, acting head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), explains the importance of good practice in data pr... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News