The fate of our local hospital is the issue of the single greatest importance I am currently working on. I thought I would share a quick update on the work my team and I have been doing to save HRI.
The Hands Off HRI rally in St George's Square on 27 February was a huge success and the culmination of some really excellent work by the campaign organisers. I was very disappointed and am very sorry that was unable to attend the debate due to a longstanding family commitment arranged over a year ago.
I knew that my Labour colleague Paula Sherriff would be attending the event and coordinated with her beforehand about what messages we wanted to get across. I have since spoken to one of the organisers of the event to pass on my apologies in person and to plan next steps.
Here's an update on our current work to save our local A&E:
- Held debate in Parliament with other local MPs on A&E provision in Huddersfield, which government Minister Ben Gummer responded to
- Raised the A&E situation and the issues with bad PFI deals in parliamentary debates and questions many times
- Written to Jeremy Hunt to make the case against closure of A&E in Huddersfield, requesting that he issue a ministerial directive against such a closure
- Hunt has now written back and agreed to meet, and we are setting up a meeting
- Written to NHS England to request that they intervene – the letter went out over a month ago; I chased last week and they said it would be with us in the next few days
- Met with the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Labour MP Meg Hillier, to ask that the Committee investigate the use of PFI to fund hospitals and other public buildings and to look at the Calderdale deal in particular
- Meg was very willing to help and talked about the problems she has witnessed with bad PFI deals in her own constituency
- Lobbied the University and the students' union to become more involved in the campaign to keep the A&E service open
- Have been gathering 10,000 signatures on a petition now for months—since long before the election—and have been publicising the e-petition which has gathered almost 60k
- Regular conversations with senior management at the NHS Trust and spoken to many healthcare professionals
- Written to Kirklees Council requesting that the Scrutiny Committee refer the CCG’s proposal to the Department for Health, which is the formal way of requesting that central Government intervene
- Written to the Chair of the Health Select Committee, Sarah Wollaston MP, urging her to examine the CCG’s proposals
- Used every possible media source (BBC Radio Leeds, Examiner, Yorkshire Post etc) to get the message across
- Written to the CCG to demand that they change their plans on when to hold the public consultation as currently it is scheduled to happen at almost exactly the same time as the EU referendum campaign which will be a distraction
I will continue to fight hard to keep our A&E here in Huddersfield and will engage fully in the public consultation when it does begin.