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A&E: Labour welcomes decision to develop viable plans before deciding on changes.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Calderdale Council's Labour group leader Councillor Tim Swift has welcomed the decision by Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG) to develop viable and fully-costed community health plans before deciding whether to support major changes to local hospital services.

And he has warned that the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust must not be allowed to make damaging, pre-emptive moves towards hospital re-configuration before the public has been fully  consulted on all aspects of proposals for reform of either health or social care provision.

Cllr Swift told the HebWeb, "In April, Labour persuaded the Council to ask the Trust to withdraw their plans. At the time, one of our arguments was that they were massively premature. Primary care and community services should receive investment first, with time to prove that they really work.

"Over the past four months, the case for this approach has become stronger and stronger. So although the Trust did not listen at the time, we are pleased that Calderdale CCG have now accepted our argument.
"Many people were concerned that the Trust plans were a done deal. The fact that the CCG have agreed to significantly change the planned timetable is a real victory for the local community.

"It also shows that we were right to press for a different approach to discussing local health and care, by setting up the Calderdale People's Commission. This must now be at the heart of a robust and well- informed public debate about the future of our local health services.

"But whilst this debate continues, it is up to the CCG and national NHS bodies to ensure that the Trust – by accident or design – don't take steps which will pre-empt decisions by withdrawing or undermining key services at Calderdale Hospital.

"The Council's scrutiny panel is already challenging any short-term savings plans, and Labour members will be keen to ensure that the pressure is maintained. The Trust have to be clear that they cannot simply assume that the changes they are proposing will be agreed, even if they have included them in their five year business plan.

"Labour locally and nationally are clear that any changes to health and social care must be driven by robust evidence that demonstrates they will genuinely improve health provision and win the support of local people."

See also

HebWeb News: Craig Whittaker challanged to A&E debate (July 2014)

HebWeb News: People's Commission on Health services (June 2014)

HebWeb News: Calderdale A&E Crisis - Feb-May 2014

Petition lauched by Josh Fenton-Glynn

Hands off Calderdale A&E - e-petition

HebWeb Forum - Closure of A and E at Halifax

HebWeb News: Josh Fenton-Glynn talks with Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham about A&E concerns (Nov 2013)

HebWeb News: Calderdale Liberal Democrats will fight to protect local A&E provision (Nov 2013)

HebWeb News: Labour to raise A&E closure in Council

See our feature on MP Craig Whittaker for his reaction to the proposed closure.

YouTube video from 38 Degrees: "You won't believe what they're planning for your hospital."

38 Degrees Petition against Hospital Closures

Save our A&E Public Meeting

Saturday 29 March 2014, 12.30pm at the Halifax Leisure Centre, North Bridge HX3 6TE