The “eye-watering” debt at Calderdale Royal Hospital has “driven decision-making”, an inquiry into local NHS services has concluded.
Among its 15 recommendations, the report by Calderdale Council’s People’s Commission into Healthcare has urged health bosses to restructure Calderdale Royal’s £10 million annual PFI debt which is set to continue for another 46 years.
The document recommends that “the system for financing health services should be the servant of service delivery not the master.”
The report recognises that “no change to the health and social care system is not an option”, but recommends that all changes “must be right for the people of Calderdale”.
The report recommends that Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust reconsider its plans for hospital reconfiguration which includes plans to downgrade our A&E department.
Linda Riordan, Labour MP for Halifax, said: “This is another powerful case for keeping the A&E as it is, where it is - I have always said there isn’t one clinical argument for closing the A&E.
“The report exposes the complete folly of even attempting to close the A&E. Sadly, this out of touch Government refuses to listen and is still ‘ruling nothing out’.
“Halifax residents want closure ruled out for good, not just ruled out for now.
“It’s time the decision-makers stopped lecturing and started listening.”
Alisdair Calder McGregor, Liberal Democrat PPC for Calder Valley, said: “Labour’s private finance deal, which costs the NHS Foundation Trust £10 million every year, will run until 2061 and has already cost twice the actual value of the hospital building.”
Philip Allott, Conservative PPC for Halifax. said: ”The Trust directors who drew up this collosal PFI should be called to account.”
Paul Rogan, UKIP PPC for Calder Valley, said: “Many will question if council taxpayers’ resources have been well spent trying to do somebody else’s job.
“If the council thinks it can do a better job of managing the NHS than the healthcare professionals, perhaps they should do a swap and let the NHS administer parking charges in Halifax?”
A spokesperson for Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We welcome the recommendations from the Commission’s latest report, which we will consider in more detail as part of our own robust approach to ensuring local people have their say on the future of health services.”