NHS bosses reveal controversial case for hospital reconfiguration

nhs chiefs today publish for the first time controversial details of the case for a major shake-up of hospital care in the region.

Plans for the reconfiguration of hospital services in Calderdale and Huddersfield triggered a storm of protest after it emerged the favoured option would have led to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax losing maternity, emergency care and other key services which would have transferred to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

GPs in the area this summer decided to put the changes on hold in favour of developing community services amid warnings maintaining both hospitals as they are is neither clinically or financially sustainable.

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Today NHS chiefs publish details of an outline business case which recommended consulting the public over two options to centre key services in either Huddersfield or Halifax.

But it also raises a series of problems with the Calderdale Royal Hospital site among them that in contrast to Huddersfield’s infirmary, it has little space for expansion and that its construction under the private finance initiative made changes more costly.

It said people living south and east of Huddersfield could choose to go to Barnsley or Sheffield for care if Huddersfield was downgraded. Some people from Calderdale could go elsewhere if the Halifax hospital was downgraded but officials said this would be compensated for by more patients from Denby Dale, Holmfirth and Penistone heading to Huddersfield.

Under the plans, one hospital would become a centre for planned care. The report said the Halifax site was also suitable for residential home provision and a hospice “as an additional source of income”.