Hands Off HRI Submission to Jeremy Hunt

Join the Protests on Saturday 3rd February

Following the Secretary of State for Health’s announcement of referring the whole matter of the reconfiguration of Huddersfield hospital services to an Independent Panel, campaigners have submitted their detailed views to the Panel (IRP) for consideration (attached).  Top of the list is to draw attention to the health bosses’ decision to relocate essential services to Halifax before the whole issue has been properly scrutinised.  The report also highlights the huge and many  problems which will arise if hospital services are relocated, including the Trust’s decision to launch a second Private Finance Initiative which has already saddled Calderdale with massive debts and will undoubtedly increase the risk of further debt obligations to private companies.  The current issues with PFI and Carillion should make the Panel think very carefully before approving another PFI.

The IRP will be faced with making one of two decisions.

  • They can undertake a brief review of the paperwork and make a recommendation
  • They can order a full review, including a visit to the affected areas

Hands Off HRI will be demanding a full and thorough review and is calling on the area’s five MP’s to back their call.  A spokesperson explained why:

“The ongoing and horrific Winter Crisis in the NHS has brought home why we all need local and well resourced NHS services.  The journey time from Huddersfield to Halifax will be the difference between life and death.  Local GP surgeries and community based services cannot make up the strain; they are already at breaking point as it is.  Civil Servants in London must come up here and see for themselves the chaos of our transport links to Halifax and we trust when they do, they will veto the Trust’s plans.  Our MP’s also need to make their voices heard and we are confident of their support”.

The campaign group will also be supporting the National Day of Action called by Health Campaigns Together for Saturday 3rd February.  All over the country, protests will be held outside hospitals to demand an end to the Winter Crisis and extra funding for our NHS, as well as a huge protest march in London.  Hands Off HRI will be outside Huddersfield Royal Infirmary from midday until 1pm and are inviting the public to join them and add their written prescriptions to the huge medicine bottles they are bringing about what is required to rescue the NHS, as well as sending a delegation to the London protest.