Huddersfield’s new A&E won’t open until well into 2024 after a problem was found with materials used in the build.
The £15 million building was handed over by developers in August and public open days were held in September ahead of an expected opening in October.
News of a delay emerged at a meeting of the Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee in early November where hospital bosses repeatedly refused to explain what was happening, much to the frustration of councillors.
Now Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has admitted a significant problem will delay the opening by “two or three months.”
A spokesman said: “We have been carrying out extensive quality and safety checks on the new A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary following completion of the build. As part of this, we have identified a concern with the jointing compound used in the water pipework.
“We are working closely with the building contractors to undertake the remedial measures required. We aim to complete any associated work as soon as possible but it is likely to take two to three months to resolve.
“While this is disappointing, it is important that we get this right prior to opening as undertaking estates work in a fully functioning A&E is extremely difficult. We will provide a further update on progress in the new year.”
Colne Valley Labour councillor Beverley Addy, who led the questioning at the committee (above), expressed her disappointment and said she hoped other developments at both HRI and Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax wouldn’t have similar problems.
“It is extremely disappointing, and I do hope they can get to the bottom of this quickly and get it put right sooner rather than later,” said Clr Addy.
“I will be keen to hear how this has happened and be asking for reassurance that this delay isn’t going to set back the other developments at both hospitals as health services run across the two and the people of Kirklees use both sites.
“Our residents deserve the best of health services with no breaks or delays in appointments and treatment during this time.
“I want to know that we are not going to have any repeat of such problems in the coming months and years while the other works are being carried out.”
The Trust has said the new A&E is part of a £200 million investment in hospital and community health care by the Trust and its partners.
At the council meeting Trust bosses insisted that any remedial works needed would be carried out at the expense of the developers.
The current A&E at HRI continues to operate.