New hospital to boost NHS services for Huddersfield and Dewsbury is proposed by councillors

A new hospital to serve West Yorkshire communities has been proposed by councillors in Kirklees.

Dewsbury and District Hospital
Dewsbury and District Hospital

A radical proposal to boost NHS services for people in Huddersfield and Dewsbury has been sent to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The plan, which has cross party support, has been agreed by political leaders at Kirklees Council.

NHS bosses scrapped proposals to downsize Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and replace it with a smaller site. A&E services would have been centralised in Halifax under the plan, which raised safety fears over longer journey times to hospital.

The revised NHS plan would see 24-7 A&E services maintained at both hospitals, although the most serious ambulance emergencies would go straight to Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH).

The Kirklees Council proposal goes further by proposing a new hospital in between the two towns.

The plan includes: "The development of a new hospital located in a suitable location between Huddersfield and Dewsbury to include full A&E services with the provision of critical care beds that will otherwise be lost entirely from Kirklees."

It has been drawn up after concerns were raised over NHS provision in Kirklees following a separate shake-up of services by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Claims have been made of a "downgrade" of Dewsbury and District Hospital, and that the whole of Kirklees could be left without a full A&E department.

Coun Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: "We have written to the Secretary of State and to NHS England to say that we believe a new hospital in Kirklees will reflect a plan for the district and ensure the best healthcare in the future, whilst retaining services that need to be delivered locally in Huddersfield and Dewsbury."

The Kirklees Council proposal said: "The A&E department within the new hospital would be staffed by senior clinicians seven days a week and be able to assess and treat all patients other than those needing more specialist or regional services, unlike the original proposals from the NHS.

"The new hospital would retain in Kirklees services that have recently been lost from North Kirklees and will, under current proposals, be lost from Huddersfield."

Kirkless Conservative group leader, Coun David Hall said: “This is a long-term plan for a long-term solution and so we are under no illusions that this will take up to 10 years to implement."