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Commissioners vote for A&E closure in Yorkshire

Dr Steve Ollerton.jpg

21 October 2016

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Commissioners have voted in favour of a  controversial plan to close the A& E department  in Huddersfield.

The governing bodies of NHS Calderdale CCG and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG voted unanimously in favour of a plan to shut the A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire.

Emergency care and high-risk planned care would move to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax instead and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary would be knocked down and replaced with a new hospital without A&E services.

Commissioners have voted in favour of a  controversial plan to close the A& E department  in Huddersfield.

The governing bodies of NHS Calderdale CCG and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG voted unanimously in favour of a plan to shut the A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire.

Emergency care and high-risk planned care would move to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax instead and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary would be knocked down and replaced with a new hospital without A&E services.

The proposal is part of the CCGs’ right Care Right Time Right Place plan to transform healthcare locally.

The CCGs said “making no change is unlikely to be in the best interests of patients” and warned the trust could become “financially unstainable.”

The CCGs met at a hotel in Huddersfield on Thursday to vote at a meeting.

The public were invited to attend as observers and not invited to speak. However some observers heckled.

More than 130,000 signed a petition opposing the controversial plan which was delivered to Downing Street.

They held a 14-week  public consultation this summer. More than 7,000 people responded and 60 per cent said they thought they would be negatively hit..

 The governing bodies  considered evidence from a stakeholder event they held last month, an equality and health inequality impact assessment and responses from Healthwatch and the Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny committee.

They also looked at an independent report of findings.

Dr Steve Ollerton who chairs Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “This has not been an easy process – but it has been necessary.”

He said the governing bodies have a duty to ensure they provide the best quality care and health outcomes for residents.

“Our priorities are to improve the quality and safety of hospital services, bring them in line with national standards and make them sustainable, in terms of money and staffing, into the future.”

GP Alan Brook, the chairman of Calerdale CCG said: ‘This next stage is an important step where we will be developing the detail and exploring how we take forward and look to implement the proposed changes as well as address concerns such as travel and transport.”

The plans will now go to NHS England and the Department of Health for their comments before the final decision is made.

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