Multi-million pound Calderdale Royal Hospital extension and multi-storey car park proposal to go before planners

An outline planning application which will be part of a major reconfiguration of health services in Huddersfield and Calderdale is set to come before planners in January.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:21 pm
Illustrative/indicative Design of the new A&E and Wards – that is subject to approval of the detailed design at reserved matters stage

Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee meets on January 4, 2022, and senior health chiefs confirmed plans which include a new A&E department, new wards and a new car park at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, should be considered there.

Anna Basford, Director of Transformation and Partnerships at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said several independent reviews of services recommended changes are needed to improve services.

The trust’s plan is to invest in Calderdale to provide extra wards, operating theatres and a new A&E department, especially improving paediatrics as both existing A&E departments are not compliant with current standards, and a new A&E building plus investment into existing buildings at Huddersfield to address safety requirements.

Design of the new multistorey car park

Unplanned, urgent, care will be based at Calderdale Royal Hospital while planned care will be based at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, she said.

In financial and recruitment terms, the separation of care will reduce patients having to be transported from one site to another, allow one department devoted to a specialism on one site rather than two departments over two, and improve the trust’s ability to attract key staff, councillors heard.

Consultants working in fields including radiology had left the trust because of the split site situation, said consultant Dr Mark Davies.

The new wards would be designed to be multifunctional and reconfiguring, for example, all acute services on one site meant not doubling up.

The bed capacity across both sites will remain the same.

Co-chair of the committee Coun Liz Smaje (Kirklees, Con, Birstall and Birkenshaw) asked if new census results had been taken into account and Ms Basford said these were being looked at and requirements refreshed should material changes be shown.

The other Co-chair, Coun Colin Hutchinson (Calderdale, Lab, Skircoat) was surprised capacity modelling seemed not to have been reviewed.

“We are not in a static situation, keeping bed numbers the same as they are doesn’t mean they are for for the next ten, 20 years in the light of demographic changes,” he said.

Work undertaken had shown assumptions were valid, said Ms Basford.

Coun Alison Munro (Kirklees, Lib Dem, Almondbury) wanted to see more evidence about how care closer to home would be affected, and workforce issues were huge.

“Population numbers have increased more than predicted and doctors’ services local to where I live, the systems are broken – so many people are accessing services the system can’t cope.

“We have to develop a more appropriate system of care because of capacity issues.

“Have we tabled into the future some additional investment in primary care?” she said.

Coun Megan Swift (Calderdale, Lab, Town) questioned arrangements for returning people home from hospital care.

Neil Smurthwaite, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group chief operating officer, said Government investment into general practices to 2023 would see around £6.5 million added to Calderdale general practice.

Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Overview Scrutiny Committee was debating the trust’s outline business case for upcoming service reconfiguration.