Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/957/25872
From The Socialist newspaper, 26 July 2017
Huddersfield A&E closure referred to Jeremy Hunt
Hands Off HRI and other groups protesting in London, 10.10.16 (Click to enlarge)
Matthew Hirst, Huddersfield Socialist Party
On 21 July, the greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (JHSC) referred the decision to close the A&E department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and to downgrade the hospital to the health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
On 14 July the Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) released its full business case (FBC), a fortnight overdue from the original release due date, which came as a shock to the residents of Huddersfield.
From the original plans to have a 120-bed, cottage-style hospital, this was halved to only 64 beds, alongside a loss of nearly 500 jobs.
The residents of Huddersfield have been out in force though, with several daily sessions of leafleting in the town centre, and at many outlying villages and supermarkets, to raise awareness of the key meeting on the 21 July, between the CCG and the JHSC.
Over 10,000 leaflets were distributed, and some 5,000 names collected on petitions to show their opposition to the latest devastating news.
The people of Huddersfield turned out en masse to lobby the councillors on the JHSC. As they entered the town hall, local media from both ITV and BBC were present and filmed the crowd chanting passionately to defend their hospital and for the NHS as a whole.
Inside the building, local campaigners, councillors and MPs showed frustration and anger at the CCG's proposals.
After an agonising adjournment, the JHSC returned a verdict of 5-3 to refer the CCG's FBC to Jeremy Hunt. As the result came through, campaigners in the overspill room could be heard chanting "Jeremy Hunt, hear us say, HRI is here to stay!"
Whatever Jeremy Hunt decides, he can now no longer pretend that the Tories are not involved in the dismantling of the NHS by stating that these decisions are made at a local level.
Since the release of the FBC, Huddersfield Socialist Party members have been at the forefront of the leafleting campaign. In just a week, we have sold 130 copies of the Socialist and raised over £200 for the fighting fund.
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In The Socialist 26 July 2017:
What we think
Right wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn
Socialist Party workplace news
Barts health strike: Low pay, no way!
Birmingham bin workers stand firm
Bron Afon workers strike against £3,000 pay cut
Court victory for PCS and all trade unions
Tesco's 10% pay increase accompanied by cuts and job losses
Mears workers escalate action to all-out strike
Workers' campaign underway to stop ward closure
Workplace news in brief
International socialist news and analysis
Building workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism
Socialist Party news and analysis
Abolish tuition fees and student debt!
Education cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure
BBC yawning pay gaps revealed
Homelessness and evictions soar under the Tories
Them & Us
Art and the Russian revolution
Russia 1917: how art helped make the revolution
Young people...fight for a future, fight for socialist policies
Grenfell survivors tell Tories: "Step down and resign"
Vigil for Grenfell
Tenants' meeting reveals huge anger
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Corbyn visits Southampton on marginal seat tour
Huddersfield A&E closure referred to Jeremy Hunt
From Militant to the Socialist Party - what you thought
Socialist sales at Salford station
Street cleaners support the Birmingham bin strike
'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing
Council meeting abandoned after undercover policing protest
Education cuts forced back in Hackney
Southampton councillors faced with angry anti-cuts campaigners
Plans to bring A-levels back to Knowsley abandoned
The Socialist 26 July 2017 |
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