It was this Government who first introduced key tests for service change, giving local people a say. We need an NHS that is ready for the future, and sustainability and transformation plans will help to ensure the best standards of care, with local doctors, hospitals and councils working together in conjunction with local communities for the first time. No decisions about service reconfigurations, including A&E units, will be made without local consultation, as is currently the case.
How can it be right that the disastrous private finance initiative deal at Calderdale is dictating that Huddersfield royal infirmary be bulldozed, leaving Huddersfield as the largest town in England without an A&E unit?
I am familiar with my hon. Friend’s concern for the hospital in Huddersfield. We have discussed it previously. Calderdale royal hospital was an early PFI and is halfway to paying off its liabilities. The present proposal, put forward by the local CCGs, for moving to a full outlined business case would involve an A&E trauma centre on a single site, but there would continue to be emergency care in Huddersfield 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it would maintain the capability to assess and initiate treatment of all patients, if it were to proceed.
Hoping for an un-lawyerlike brevity, I call Mr Alistair Carmichael.