We are shocked by the proposals from Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups
to dismantle Huddersfield Royal Infirmary which serves nearly a quarter of a million people. The proposals include downgrading the hospital's services, reducing the hospital's beds and down-banding the HRI Accident & Emergency unit, moving Specialist Emergency Care to Halifax.
Explore the links (top-right) to find out how you can join us, get involved with #handsoffhri and make sure your voice is heard.
Please read the very latest statements and updates from the Hands Off HRI Campaign below.
(N.B. For statements and notifications from the Hands Off HRI Campaign from before April 2017 (including Legal Updates, Information on Public Meetings and Campaign Announcements), please see our Campaign Statements Page which has campaign statements and notices dating back to March 2016.)
On April 1st, 2017, the Hands Off HRI Campaign from Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale is going to Leeds March For the NHS.
We are catching the Protest Train from:
Departing Marsden at 9:29am
Stopping in Slaithwaite at 9:33am
Arriving in Huddersfield at 9:42am
for arrival in Leeds at 10:15am.
From Huddersfield most people will board the 09:55 fast train direct to Leeds - but if you want to meet up with friends heading from Dewsbury to Leeds, there is another train, leaving Huddersfield slightly earlier at 09:46 which stops in Dewsbury at 09:55.
We hope you will meet up with us at one of the stations to travel to Leeds together.
PCS Samba will be heading to the march, with a very lively vibe, followed by the local campaign groups, a brass band in the middle heading up the trade union contingents and a flash ensemble of local musicians organised by one of the Leeds Keep Our NHS Public members further down the line.
GMB are planning a bed push and people are digging out scrubs, white coats etc, wearing campaign T-shirts and hoodies and creating personal placards - so we should make quite a splash.
March organisers, Keep Our NHS Public Leeds, will be making this event to be as colourful and lively as possible - it's going to be an immensely fun day out for old people, young people and all the family!
See you there!
Hands Off HRI Campaign Accounts Update
To reassure people:
All money raised is going towards our legal challenge with the CCG. All monies paid out of our account have gone towards paying Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and nothing else.
The accounts as previously stated will be adopted at our general meeting. There will be the opportunity to look at and ask questions about the accounts at this meeting.
We believe in democracy and transparency.
All monies paid in since January 2017 have all been raised by this group. We have not received anything from any other group.
All money from the PayPal account has been transferred into the main account to pay Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.
We have simply removed a signatory from the account.
The person removed has said publicly that he wants nothing to do with our group or what we stand for.
The account is linked to HMRC and the limited company.
Nothing has changed.
Hands Off HRI Campaign Needs You!
Our campaign priority is to make sure that the NHS is safe locally for patients and staff.
We believe that this cannot be achieved through more cuts to services. Cutting services is exactly what the CCGs are proposing! These cuts or efficiency savings will be imposed if we don't challenge them.
We are not negotiating! We are challenging them!
Our campaign will continue to fight locally for an NHS that is a comprehensive service, free at the point of need and not driven by profit. We are also opposed to changes to services that are simply about saving money and not in the best interests of patients.
The CCG Proposal is all about saving money!
How can it be safe for our town to lose its A&E?
How can it be in the interests of patient safety?
Please do write to your local MP or Councillor with your concerns.
Hands Off HRI, the local grass roots based group, campaigning against the closure of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Accident and Emergency Department and the resulting reduction in services, will attend the It's Our NHS National Demonstration on Saturday 4th March 2017.
We have received an overwhelming response to the demo, so much so that we have had to book a third coach. Over 100 concerned citizens are now booked on local transport kindly provided at discount rates by Stott's Coaches. Others are travelling down independently. This is a great response to the call for support.
The Kirklees and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group is currently compiling a full business case for the demolition of HRI, leaving a smaller planned treatment cottage style hospital. The plans would see Accident and Emergency moved, in its entirety to Calderdale Royal Hospital.
In addition, locally, the Huddersfield CCG intends to cut funding, by 44%, to Slaithwaite Health Centre. This will halve the number of appointments to see Doctors and Nurses and the GP partners predict that they will have to give up the contract by Christmas 2017 as the surgery will no longer be safe.
Whilst campaigning against these local issues we have been forced to recognise the wider effect of National Policies such as the Sustainability and Transformation Plan which, in creating 44 footprints across the UK, could see Accident & Emergency care in our region only available in Harrogate, Bradford and Leeds.
Nationally these stories are repeated in every region.
Our NHS is in crisis, years of underfunding have brought a Winter Crisis of epic proportions. A&E Patients waiting on trollies in excess of 4 hours or more, cancelled operations due to lack of beds, caused by underfunding of social care, resulting in patients who are well enough to go home with support, having to remain in hospitals. In addition GP's, mental health, ambulance and community services are on their knees.
Against this back drop, Health Campaigns Together and The Peoples Assembly have been urged to call a National Demonstration in support of our NHS and calling for:
A fully funded, publicly owned NHS & social care service
No cuts, no closures, no privatisation
End the pay restraint for NHS staff
The March will be attended by many local campaigning groups, including:
Save Lewisham Hospital
Fighting 4 Grantham
Barnsley Save our NHS
Protect Chorley Hospital from Cuts & Privatisation
Save Our Hospital Services, Devon
as well as NHS staff including Doctors, Nurses and Support Staff. Crowds are expected in tens of thousands.
Jeremy Corbyn, who will address the rally in Parliament Square, will also be joined by a range of speakers representing NHS workers, unions, campaigns and celebrities including; John McDonnell MP, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Len McCluskey, Jacqui Berry, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir (2015 Xmas No.1). English drum and bass band Rudimental have also pledged their support and will attend the demonstration. Hands Off HRI Chairman, Mike Forster will be addressing the crowds.
Read the HandsOffHRI Campaign Newsletter (February 2017) to find out more on how the Greater Huddersfield and CalderdaleHands Off HRI Campaign has been pushing forward since the start of New Year 2017 to defend and protect hospital services vital to our community at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
The newsletter comprises 2 sides - about 4mins reading time:
Brief update following yesterday's lobbying efforts:
Joint Health Scrutiny Committee had given the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) until February to present a credible plan. The CCG failed to do so and are proceeding without making themselves accountable. The councillors should be taking their own legal advice about the failure of the CCG to follow procedure. They clearly don't feel they need to account for their actions. On top of this, it will be the trust and not the CCG preparing the case. They don't consider they are obliged to consult either!!! And of course we have the introduction of the new STP authority which will be coming into being this year. They certainly don't feel accountable to us.
All of this strengthens our legal challenge because the health authorities believe they are beyond reproach. And there clearly won't be the funding for any change as the STP is charged with cutting £1.1 billion over the next 4 years. Although it's getting more complicated, the answer becomes clearer: the NHS will not survive without more funding.
Decision Time - Thu 23rd Feb, 3pm
If you were unable to make it to the Kirklees and Calderdale Joint Health Scrutiny Committee Meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall at 3pm on Thursday, 23rd February, you can watch the proceedings here: