The Campaign has come a long way since we began our work in 2016. The Trust has been forced back from it’s original intention which was to close HRI and A & E. Through our work, we have forced them to concede that the hospital will be staying open and we keep our A & E. However we know that they intend to shift all emergency and acute services to Halifax and the Dept of Health has agreed to give then the money to carry out their sneaky plan. So what is the next stage of our fight?
Demand Proper Staffing Levels
Buried deep in their outline plan, they argue for a ‘single expert care team’. They intend to base all essential staff at Halifax. Our plan is to argue for a ‘dual expert care team’. That argument can be won if we can put together an expert health professionals’ team to argue the case for two teams, one in Huddersfield and the other in Halifax. We are now in the process of pulling together such a team who will begin their work in the New Year. If you know of any health professionals who could help us, please let us know; we will need all the evidence we can get.
For a Peoples’ Commission
The successful Lewisham campaign pulled together a very powerful Peoples’ Commission which organised a public hearing to take witness statements and evidence from all sections of the community to demand full A & E Services. 500 attended the event which was conducted by Michael Mansfield QC and had a very powerful impact on their eventual victory. We cannot do this alone and have asked the council and our MP’s for help. However if you feel you could also help, please let us know.
Time for Proper Scrutiny
The Trust has now assumed it has the green light to go ahead. However they MUST go through a full and proper consultation and produce a full business plan to back up their case. Joint Health Scrutiny must hold the Trust to account and we are pressing them to make sure the Trust goes back to the drawing board with this ‘new’ plan. If the last business plan was legally flawed, then this next one is even worse so they will do their best to avoid any public scrutiny. We WILL hold them to account.
Back to Court!
We have still not completed the Judicial Review. We are waiting for a Judge to hear our argument that the original business case should be struck out. Why is this important? The Trust will try to argue they have already consulted extensively and this ‘new’ plan has evolved from their original plan. That is why it is important to us that it is scrapped and they are forced to reconsult. If they fail to do it properly, then our legal team is standing by to pounce once again.
More Fundraising and Awareness Building!
The campaign will continue to fundraise and hold awareness building events. The next scheduled Honk for HRI will be on 26th January at 12 noon, with a special honk on 9th February at 12 noon for Valentines Day. Campaigners will be collecting signatures of support, to hand to the staff at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, at information stalls around Huddersfield. Supporters can also sign electronically via the website – https://officialhandsoffhri.org/
Our next fundraising event will take place at Golcar Royal British Legion on 16th February with a charity gig. The campaign are very grateful to three local bands; Shambolic, The Drawing Board Band and Blue Orchid Reaction who are giving their time for free in support of this important cause.
We are now entering our third year of struggle. This is our most important phase. To maintain momentum, we need your help with campaigning, fund raising, admin, legal work etc. Any time you can spare is greatly appreciated. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work so far; we can finish this off.