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Halifax


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From: The Socialist issue 890, 24 February 2016: Vote 'Out' the Tories

Search site for keywords: Huddersfield - Debt - PFI - Protest - Hospital - NHS - Halifax - Privatisation - Cuts

Huddersfield: save our A&E!

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!

Fatalities

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:







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