A plan to base a major emergency care centre at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust has been backed by clinical commissioning groups in and around the city.

Support from three CCGs was revealed in their strategy for urgent and emergency care, which has been circulated for consultation.

The trust’s bid to become a major emergency centre follows a recommendation by Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s national medical director, that 40-70 such centres should be established across the country.

The consultation paper by Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford Districts and Bradford City CCGs pointed to an “ongoing discussion” about the number of centres in West Yorkshire and an “ambition” for a major emergency care centre at the trust.

According to the document, the trust has a wide catchment area serving a population of some 420,000 including the city of Bradford and the rural districts of the Yorkshire Dales.

The paper appeared to link the suitability of the hospital site as an emergency centre to clinical performance.

“As travel times to receive treatment are critical for some conditions, to achieving successful patient outcomes such as stroke, it is essential that local specialist services are readily available and patient journey times are minimised wherever possible,” the document said.  

The “range and nature of the specialist services” provided by Bradford had been developed in response to the “specific and unique challenges presented by the significant demographic variability of the population, combined with a high ethnic mix and unemployment rate in Bradford”.

The document acknowledged that the development of a “future proofed” emergency centre would require “significant changes in physical infrastructure”.

The CCGs said it was too early to determine how much this might cost.

Andy Withers, clinical chair of Bradford Districts CCG, said becoming an major emergency care centre “would build on the hospitals’ existing strengths and specialist services”.

These include critical care, special paediatrics and stroke treatment.

The proposal would also mean patients with more serious or life threatening conditions receive treatment with the “best clinical teams, expertise and equipment”, he said.

Helen Barker, chief operating officer of the trust, welcomed the CCGs’ “plans and ambitions” to establish a major emergency centre in the city.

“This united and integrated approach to healthcare priorities can only be seen as good news,” she said.