“Campaigners have applied to the High Court for judicial review over Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust plans to shake up services.
The Hands Off HRI campaign, advised by law firm Irwin Mitchell, is seeking to challenge the NHS Trust’s plans to axe the A&E department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) and replacing the 400-bed hospital with a 64-bed “planned care” facility.
It said the plans would also see a transfer of capacity to Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) in Halifax, which would be expanded to have 674 beds.
The group claimed that the costs of the plans were estimated at being more than £300m, proposed to be funded by a Private Finance Initiative.
Yogi Amin, a partner at Irwin Mitchell and the lawyer representing the Hands Off HRI campaign, said: “We believe that the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has produced a flawed business case, which does not present all the necessary evidence or follow the government guidelines.
“The effect of seeing through these plans could not only be millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being used, but also the closure of much needed acute local NHS services. Local campaigners and professionals have argued that alternative local options based on the use of existing resources should have been considered as opposed to the current proposed plan which would see hundreds of patients every month transported from the Huddersfield facility to CRH in Halifax.”
A spokesman from Hands Off HRI campaign group said: “This is a long and complicated road that we are taking to challenge the proposed changes to take away our much needed local hospital services in Huddersfield.
“We support the judicial review and we believe that the Court will consider the case fairly. In the meantime we hope that no steps are taken to make any changes to the hospital services.
“The NHS Trust plans are opposed by local people and have yet to receive any funding or full backing from the government, so we do not think that it would be fair to go ahead and move hospital services from Huddersfield to the CRH in Halifax.”
The NHS trust has been approached for comment.”