Planned Huddersfield A&E closure attracts widespread criticism


March 11, 2016 | By Suzanne Munroe |

March 11, 2016 | By Suzanne Munroe |

On 15th January 2016, Huddersfield CCG announced plans to close the accident and emergency department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. The proposal is to switch full A&E provision to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, which will be expanded to focus on serious and life-threatening cases.

The closure is part of a larger scheme which includes demolishing the current Royal Infirmary and building a new hospital across the road from the existing site. The new hospital will not include a full A&E department.

The Clinical Commissioning Group also plans to downgrade Dewsbury District Hospital A&E department 9 months earlier than scheduled. The two A&E departments are in close proximity and are even now under a lot of strain.

The proposal has been criticised by the Nursing Union who have said there was a “lack of constructive and collaborative planning” between Huddersfield and Halifax NHS chiefs and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

A representative of the Royal College of Nursing has been quoted as saying the change has “no logic to it and we are struggling to see evidence that patient safety has been prioritised.”

Thousands of people have already signed petitions organised by the MPs Barry Sheerman and Jason McCartney.

The online petition “Prevent the closure of Huddersfield A&E department” on the UK Government petitions website has more than 61,000 signatures and over 46,000 people have joined a Facebook page devoted to saving Huddersfield A&E department.

The proposal will be subject to a public consultation of at least 12 weeks to allow members of the public to have their say and ask questions of Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups. Many local people are shocked at the proposal that a town as large as Huddersfield does not merit a full A&E unit.

The 5.1 mile journey from Huddersfield to Halifax A&E can take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. This extended journey time will impact on the most severely ill and vulnerable patients.

The consultation continues and a final decision is expected in the Autumn.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only.  They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and the law may have changed since this article was published.  Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice on their own particular circumstances.


Suzanne Munroe

Suzanne is a Solicitor who heads up our Medical Negligence team and is also a Director of Switalskis. She joined Switalskis in 2013 and has specialised in Medical Negligence for most of her career. Suzanne is a nationally-recognised birth injury lawyer. Suzanne's profile