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Huddersfield: save our A&E!
- Join the demonstration: 11.30am, 27 February, St Georges Square
Mike Forster, Huddersfield Socialist Party
The community-led campaign against the closure of the A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) has mushroomed into a massive people's protest movement. At least ten local groups have been set up.
The work is being coordinated by a steering committee of people who have mostly not been involved in campaigns before. Thousands of signatures have been collected. The roadshow meetings of the phoney 14 week consultation will be mobbed by local people.
The demonstration in Huddersfield on 27 February will be the biggest protest in the town in the post-war period.
Only five weeks ago the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched a consultation with the recommended option to downgrade HRI and to relocate its A&E to nearby Halifax. This would mean only one A&E department serving a diverse and scattered community of 750,000 people!
The proposal will result in a huge increase of fatalities. Those travelling to the A&E would have to cross the busiest Northern motorway, the M62, which is constantly clogged with traffic.
The CCG has had to admit that it does not have the funds to keep both A&E departments open. It has chosen to prioritise the Halifax hospital because of its huge and escalating PFI (Private Finance Initiative) debt.
The CCG cannot extricate itself from this crippling contract - which will end up costing £774 million, despite the fact that the cost of building the hospital was £64 million! The CCG will sacrifice lives to pay off an immoral and unjustified debt to private companies.
The Socialist Party locally has thrown all its weight and resources behind the campaign. As well as helping to organise key events, we are also taking responsibility for mobilising youth anger at the proposal by organising activities at the university and colleges. Our members on the steering committee continue to play a crucial role in directing the work of the campaign.
We continue to call for:
- No closure of either A&E department
- Cancel the PFI debt
- A publicly owned and fully funded NHS at every level
- Coordinated industrial action to halt cuts and privatisation in the NHS
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0784 114 4890
North West 07954 376 096
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551