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Bed cuts in proposed Halifax and Huddersfield hospital reconfiguration

From Susi Harris

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Some facts about the proposed reconfiguration of the hospitals in Halifax (Calderdale Royal Hospital - CRH) and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - HRI - (with thanks to Jenny Shepherd for her analysis)

The proposal involves:
Losing 2 A&E departments in both Calderdale and Huddersfield, to be replaced by 2 'Urgent care centres', and in Halifax, one 'Emergency Care Centre' which is accessible only to ambulances

  • knocking down Huddersfield Royal Infirmary
  • selling off the site for development
  • building a 119 bed planned care clinic plus outpatients and and urgent care centre on Acre Mill (across the road from HRI)
  • expanding CRH from 400-ish beds to 615 and make it the unplanned care hospital and emergency care centre for both Kirklees and Calderdale

Overall the plan would mean the loss of 77 hospital beds- from 811 beds in both hospitals, to 734 beds.

Huddersfield would lose around 280 beds, Calderdale would gain around 215 beds.

125 beds would be cut through Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) – (aka "efficiency savings")

Huddersfield would end up with one 119-bed planned care hospital (plus outpatients, medical day case, midwife-led maternity, therapies and an urgent care centre for minor injuries and illnesses). That means anyone from Hebden Bridge or Todmorden who needed a routine procedure or operation would have to travel to Huddersfield.

Calderdale would end up with one 615 bed unplanned care hospital, with A&E services in an emergency care centre, plus a Paediatric Emergency Department and an urgent care centre.

The population of both Kirklees and Calderdale is growing, Calderdale set to grow by !0,000 in the next 10 years, with the over-65's, the highest users of health services, growing by 25%. (source: ONS via Calderdale JSNA 2015)

There are many unanswered questions as detailed in the clinical senate review of the proposals.

For example "The Senate recommends ...the commissioners describe the model with greater clarity, particularly focussing on detail about the workforce and activity. The lack of detail at this stage left the Senate with questions regarding the ability of this model to deliver the standards proposed."

"The documentation does not give a sense, ... of what local clinical discussions there have been in agreeing how achievable these standards are locally. The standards are generic and could largely apply to any Trust, which left the Senate with questions about their deliverability."

We have just 12 week consultation period to get our heads around this and make our feelings known, due to start in February (but exact date not yet announced). Lewisham successfully challenged the closure of their A&E. But North West London did not and now have the longest waiting times in the country. See this Evening Standard article