Green Party Leader visits Upper Valley
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Support for Calderdale Save Our A&Es
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett recently visited the Upper Calder Valley and gave her support to the Calderdale and Huddersfield Save our A&Es campaign.
Natalie Bennett told Calderdale Green Party members that similar cuts in London were having a negative effect on services.
Calderdale Green Party is active in the campaign to keep both A&Es open, in the face of NHS Chiefs' proposals to close one or both A&Es.
The likelihood is that Calderdale Royal Hospital A&E would be the one to close.
The proposed A&E cuts are only part of a major shake up of NHS and social care services in Calderdale and Huddersfield, known as "Right Care Right Time Right Place."
NHS Chiefs want to replace acute and emergency hospital services with a new system of care in the community, that is based on a model used by the private American health care company Kaiser Permanente.
Calderdale Green Party opposes NHS chiefs' plan to scrap public consultation
The proposed NHS shake up was due to go to public consultation this summer but, in a dramatic twist, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS commissioners have just revealed they are to seek their Governing Bodies' approval to shelve the public consultation.
Instead they want to go ahead without any public consultation and introduce the new "Right Care" community health and social care system - now rebranded as "Care Closer to Home".
Phase one of this process would be to put existing community care services out to competitive tender, which is likely to mean the contracts would go to private companies.
Phase two would be to shift hospital-based services into the "community".
If the NHS Commissioners' Governing Bodies agree, public consultation about the proposed cuts to acute and emergency hospital services will only take place once the new community care system is in place.
By which time the hospital cuts would be a foregone conclusion, because there isn't enough money in the NHS Commissioners' budget to pay for both the new community care services and existing hospital services.
Calderdale Green Party is reminding NHS Commissioners that they have a legal obligation to consult the public about significant NHS changes such as the introduction of the "Right Care" community health and social care system - now rebranded as "Care Closer to Home."
Calderdale Green Party is also worried about strong indications from the NHS Commissioners and their Calderdale Council partner that the new community care services would be privatised.
Support for Save our Shops campaign
Calderdale Green Party members' wide-ranging discussion with Natalie Bennett also covered the Green Party's Universal Basic Income policy, flooding, and supermarkets' threat to local businesses.
Natalie Bennett offered her support for the Save Our Shops campaign in Hebden Bridge.
She said, "I have just seen the successful promotion of small businesses in Todmorden with the Incredible Edible scheme and think that this should reflect a way forward for Hebden Bridge".
Natalie very much encouraged Calderdale Green Party to put forward candidates at all levels in the 2015 elections.
Calderdale Green Party is in the process of selecting candidates for elections to Parish Councils, Calderdale Council and both Halifax and Calder Valley parliamentary seats.
Calderdale Green Party Chair Freda Davis said, "Calderdale Green Party has made great strides over the last two years and has the feel of a party willing to work for success."
Following the May 2014 Calderdale Council elections, we are now in second place in Calder Ward and are getting between 15 and 20% of the vote in the Upper Calder Valley."