Calderdale A&E Crisis
Sunday, 11 May 2014
Proposals to be delayed
Huddesfield Examiner report that proposals will be delayed following objections and pressure, especially from Calderdale MBC. Read story
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Calderdale votes against closure
Calderdale councillors, in an extraordinary meeting on Weds 16 April, united in passing a motion asking NHS Trust to withdraw hospital proposals to close Halifax A and E.
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Labour calls on Council to ask NHS Trust to withdraw hospital proposals
Calderdale Labour group want the Council to ask the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust to withdraw their controversial proposals for Calderdale Royal Hospital, Labour group leader Tim Swift said today.
Cllr Swift announced details of the resolution that he intends to table at the special meeting to discuss the NHS proposals next Wednesday (April 16th).
Cllr Swift told the HebWeb, "I understand the enormous pressures faced by the three provider organisations, and particularly by the hospital trust. They clearly feel that, trapped between rising demand, a shortage of vital trained staff in some areas, and inadequate funding, they have to propose radical changes.
"But in our view the current proposals leave too many unanswered questions; they ask local people to take a leap of faith to accept that adequate community services will be put in place to replace the hospital services that are lost; and at a time of great uncertainty about the future shape of health services, they would require a commitment to a massive programme of capital investment particularly in the Huddersfield site.
"Right now, the public debate has been dominated by the future provision of Accident and Emergency. In this area and in many others, most people simply cannot understand why the answer to rising demand is apparently to significantly reduce capacity."
Labour's resolution goes on to call for a new approach to consulting local people and professionals about the future of health and care in the area.
Calls for a public commission
Cllr Swift added, "We believe that the best way forward would be to set up an arms-length commission to take evidence and listen to public views about the way forward for health and care. Ideally, this would include representatives of both Councils and both Clinical Commissioning Groups, together with independent experts. Their role would include taking evidence from local organisations including the hospital Trust and the Ambulance Service; considering relevant research; and commissioning local consultation and debate.
"Local people are passionate about the NHS and about our local services. As long as the current proposals remain on the table, too many will believe that the changes are a 'done deal' and by cynical about any engagement or consultation exercise. We believe the path we are outlining provides a better way which will lead to the development of further options for the shape of future services."
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Keep the hospital and A&E in Halifax for Calderdale!
Local Liberal Democrats are calling on the Health Service to make sure that the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax stays open with all its services.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Calderdale Council, Cllr Janet Battye (Calder), told us, "We're still very concerned that, weeks after the so-called Strategic Review Outline Case was published, there is still no news about what's happening next."
"The Review puts forwards all sorts of ideas and we're still waiting to hear more about what it actually means and how it would work in practice. It begs all sorts of questions but is short on answers."
"At the Special Council meeting that we are told is going to take place in a couple of weeks' time, we're going to be asking for Council support for no change to hospital services in Halifax. This makes sense as, even for those Calderdale residents furthest away from Halifax, this is still their nearest hospital – Oldham is 16 miles away from Todmorden and Blackburn 18 miles. Halifax is 13 miles away and quicker to get to."
"The unspoken element in this is what part the PFI funding of the Calderdale Royal Hospital plays in all of this. At the time it was being planned, Liberal Democrats warned that this was a disaster in the making and this seems to be coming true", said Cllr Battye. "We believe the Trust is paying about £10 million each year in interest charges alone – about the same as is spends on all the other building improvements and ward refurbishments put together".
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Labour candidate walks 20 miles from Todmorden to Huddersfield A&E
On Monday 24 March, Josh Fenton-Glynn, prospective Labour candidate, walked the 20 miles from Todmorden to Huddersfield A&E to highlight the distances local people will have to travel if the closure at Halifax goes ahead.
See video and article in the Yorkshire Post
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Lib Dems call on NHS bosses to explain
Liberal Democrats in Calderdale have called on local NHS bosses to explain their plans for local services and carry out a full consultation with local people about the proposals.
Calderdale Council Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Janet Battye says, "Two weeks after the proposals became public, information is still dribbling out but with no real explanation or dialogue with local people. All we've been offered so far is 'engagement' over the summer and consultation at some vague time in the future. A real consultation process needs to be put in place as a matter of urgency."
"We now know that these proposals have been worked on for around a year, so I assume that there is plenty of evidence that the local NHS sees as providing a compelling case for change. It is now well past the time when this should have been made available to local people to examine. Only then can they challenge – or agree – with the proposals. As I said earlier, the changes suggested will affect real services provided to benefit real people. It is not a subject that is of interest only to health service professionals."
"Further concern has now been raised by the decision to close A&E in Dewsbury – how does this affect the current proposals? Isn't this just going to make the queues at A&E in Huddersfield even longer?"
"Some of the changes and improvements in the presentation do sound useful and interesting – the promotion of self care and integrated support, the notions of Locality Teams and Community Hubs. Some people think that this may mean that we're getting a modern version of a "cottage hospital" in Todmorden.
"It's no wonder that there's a campaign to 'save our A&E'. We all need to be reassured that we can get emergency medical treatment within easy reach and, for many people in Calderdale, this means Halifax" said Cllr Battye.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Public meeting launches campaign to save Calderdale and Huddersfield A&E departments
A well-attended public meeting in Hebden Bridge yesterday decided to campaign to stop cuts to accident and emergency departments in Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals and protect vital emergency care services for everyone in the area.
The Upper Calder Valley Save our A&E action group will campaign strongly with other organisations and groups in Calderdale and Kirklees, to make sure that everyone in both areas continues to have proper, safe access to 24 hour emergency services in their local hospitals.
The powers-that-be in Calderdale & Huddersfield Foundation Trust and Calderdale and Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Groups have just presented a number of options for the future of Calderdale and Huddersfield A&E departments, but the one that they want to put into action, option 2, is to close Calderdale A&E, apart from planned appointments (so, you can't go there for accidents or emergencies), and have 24 hour A&E care only in Huddersfield.
The A & E closure at Calderdale Hospital is obviously going to cause the most concern and attention, but the proposals in Option 2 are even more far reaching. The plans include not only the transfer of A&E to Huddersfield, but also complex maternity (LDRP) & paediatrics. The knock-on effects could include the transfer of other departments too, such as Stroke Ward, CCU and ICU.
The meeting committed to stopping this from happening, since this is an attack on vital services dressed up as an improvement to medical services, in the form of more 'locality-based' health care. This is all of a piece with the drive to reduce the NHS and privatise vital public services.
For more information about the Upper Calder Valley Save Our A & E campaign, please email.
Here is more information about the announcement of CHFT's and the Clinical Commissioning Groups' plans for Calderdale & Huddersfield A&E Departments.
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Liberal Democrats call on NHS bosses to explain
Liberal Democrats in Calderdale are calling for local NHS bosses to justify their plans for local services and carry out a full consultation with local people about the proposals.
Calderdale Council Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Janet Battye told us: "The changes suggested will affect real services provided to benefit real people. It is not some managerial scheme that can be left to 'experts'.
"By giving us a 'summary' of what they call the 'proposed future service model', hares have been set running and people's worst fears aroused" says Cllr Battye.
"They should have known that their proposals would cause alarm locally about the future of the Accident and Emergency Services at Calderdale Royal Hospital. We are committed to local people having access to the emergency medical treatment they need. Describing the future facility as a "minor injury unit" will cause confusion for local people who might question whether they should use it or go straight to the A and E Dept in the other hospital."
"Some of the changes and improvements in the presentation do sound useful and interesting – the promotion of self care and integrated support, the notions of Locality Teams and Community Hubs – but we all need to be reassured that we can get emergency medical treatment within easy reach and, for most people in Calderdale, this means Halifax."
"We haven't yet received copies of the report and recommendations on which these proposals seem to be based. It is difficult for us all to understand and question these proposals at present. There needs to be full public consultation. But until we're satisfied that any change will work at least as well as what we've got currently, then there mustn't be any change."
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
According to a report in yesterday's Halifax Courier, Calderdale Hospital A and E closure is one step nearer.
Labour's Josh Fenton-Glynn has today told the HebWeb, "This this a deeply concerning announcement which will have severe repercussions for A&E care in Calderdale.
"People in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden would be dangerously distant from an accident department if Halifax closed, and we've seen elsewhere in the country that when one hospital is downgraded or closed, it causes massive problems at surrounding hospitals.
"This is a recipe for ambulances queuing outside Huddersfield hospital, patients waiting for hours on trolleys and over-worked staff being overwhelmed by demand.
"Craig Whittaker's complacent attitude towards this has let everyone in Calder Valley down. But Labour will fight all the way to keep our A&E services open."
Petition lauched by Josh Fenton-Glynn
Hands off Calderdale A&E - e-petition
HebWeb Forum - Closure of A and E at Halifax
HebWeb News: Josh Fenton-Glynn talks with Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham about A&E concerns (Nov 2013)
HebWeb News: Calderdale Liberal Democrats will fight to protect local A&E provision (Nov 2013)
HebWeb News: Labour to raise A&E closure in Council
See our feature on MP Craig Whittaker for his reaction to the proposed closure.
YouTube video from 38 Degrees: "You won't believe what they're planning for your hospital."
38 Degrees Petition against Hospital Closures
Save our A&E Public Meeting
Saturday 29 March 2014, 12.30pm at the Halifax Leisure Centre, North Bridge HX3 6TE