Re­view let­ter blasts HRI down­grade plan

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

In it, mem­bers of the Joint Health Scru­tiny Com­mit­tee (JHSC) say they were re­peat­edly left with­out an­swers to their ques­tions.

Echo­ing the thoughts of Mike Rams­den, chair­man of cam­paign group Let’s Save HRI, (who has called for mass res­ig­na­tions) coun­cil­lors noted that the fi­nal pro­posal was sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent from the one that mem­bers of the pub­lic were con­sulted on.

The let­ter says the scru­tiny com­mit­tee was not aware of sig­nif­i­cant changes to the plan un­til July 12 – only eight days be­fore their crunch de­ci­sion was due.

This was de­spite telling health chiefs in Jan­uary that they re­quired a full re­port by the end of June. Un­ex­pected al­ter­ations in­cluded: Re­duc­ing the pro­posed Acre Mills hospi­tal from 120 to 64 beds. Mov­ing more planned care to Calderdale. Slash­ing 500 more jobs than first mooted. There were also changes in the long term fi­nan­cial fore­cast and news that the plan could only be funded by a Pri­vate Fi­nance Ini­tia­tive.

On the bed re­duc­tion coun­cil­lors said the rea­sons were not ex­plained and the pub­lic had not been prop­erly con­sulted.

The let­ter also raised fears that prom­ises that a doc­tor would be present at the pro­posed ur­gent care cen­tre at all times had been back­tracked on.

It said “real con­cerns” ex­pressed by the pub­lic “should not be ig­nored’.’

Coun­cil­lors said they ex­pected to re­ceive a “suite of doc­u­ments” from the clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing groups to ad­dress all their con­cerns with the plan but in­stead got a sin­gle doc­u­ment, the Full Busi­ness Case, from the Calderdale and Hud­der­s­field NHS Foun­da­tion Hospi­tal Trust which runs the In­fir­mary.

Joint health scru­tiny com­mit­tee mem­bers also said they noted that 80% of the pub­lic were against the plan and ques­tioned whether “suf­fi­cient weight had been given to the need and choice of lo­cal res­i­dents’.’

The let­ter added: “The joint com­mit­tee would also ask whether the de­ci­sion to pro­ceed with the pro­pos­als is con­sis­tent with NHS val­ues which aim to put the needs of pa­tients and com­mu­ni­ties first.”

Coun­cil­lors also doubted whether plans to re­duce un­planned ad­mis­sions to hos­pi­tals by 18% were achiev­able.

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