This is a landmark campaign for those fighting the changes that are currently being seen in the NHS.
Hands off HRI has been campaigning against the hospital closure proposals of the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, the Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCG for over 2 years. We’ve already raised significant funds to get a legal case off the ground. Following a recent permission hearing, a landmark Judicial Review has now been granted to challenge the Trust’s proposals, especially the closure and downgrading of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
The full hearing will take place between 12th – 14th June 2018 in Leeds Crown Court.
The Judicial Review has been granted permission to proceed on 5 grounds:
- The financial sustainability and Full Business Case: The Trust has failed to substantiate the case for change by reference to UK government’s Five Case Model and Green Book guidance
- Inadequate consultation/failure to consider relevant factors
- The Trust’s forecast reduction in hospital admissions are inadequately evidenced
- The impact of the changes in relation to Travel and Transport for patients and their families/carers
- Public Sector Equality Duty
The changes would see Huddersfield, the 11th largest town in England, lose its acute hospital and its Accident and Emergency Department, a change that we believe will result in real life threatening issues for patient safety and an increased burden on the most vulnerable groups in our society.
The recommendation to close Huddersfield Royal Infirmary will see the transfer of all acute medicine, including Accident and Emergency, to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax and an overall reduction in the total number of hospital beds. There will be a small planned care hospital and Urgent Care Centre in Huddersfield with funding from a second Private Finance Initiative.
The plans rely heavily on a proposed increase in Care in the Community, but there are no plans to expand such provision. In fact the Local Medical Committee has described the plans as ‘unsafe’, as there are high vacancy levels for GPs, community and district nurses and other disciplines within the district.
If the Judicial Review is successful, the Trust’s decision to proceed with the proposals in the full business case could be quashed, and a new decision would have to be taken lawfully.
In order to support this next stage in our legal fight the campaign is looking to commission additional evidence that will add weight to our case. To do this we are advised we need to raise an additional £15,000. Legal aid funding may not be available for these reports. Due to the short time available before the Judicial Review we are unable to raise the necessary funding ourselves and are asking individuals and organisations to help us in our efforts. If legal aid is made available to obtain this evidence, any funds raised will be ringfenced for this case and go towards the community contribution that the Legal Aid Agency requires.
This campaign is now at a critical stage. A victory in the Judicial Review will send reverberations around the whole country and send a clear message to the Trust and the NHS that this is not a done deal. We are appealing to all our friends and supporters to help us raise the funds. Please donate generously at the CrowdJustice page here. Hands Off HRI!