Lives will be put at risk if plans go ahead to downgrade Calderdale Royal Hospital.

That’s the message from campaigners from across Huddersfield and Halifax who gathered in force to protest against a package of proposals put forward for the future of the region’s health service.

The plans could see the A&E unit either at Calderdale or Huddersfield Royal Infirmary shut down.

The protest was staged at Halifax Town Hall on Saturday before demonstrators took to the streets to march through the town centre and out towards Calderdale Royal.

Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan said: “We have come to protest against the proposed loss of our A&E in Calderdale. For anyone who has to travel these distances in an emergency it is ludicrous.

Video Loading
 

“We’ve got the weather for it and people have come to support it from Unite and Unison but we still need more signatures for our petition.

“This has come about because of the Government’s social care policy.”

Those taking part in the protest, many holding banners and placards, were slightly disappointed with the turn-out but hope many more people will now get behind the campaign since seeing the march on the streets.

The rally comes after Calderdale Council last week passed a motion to call for the Halifax A&E closure plans to be dropped. Kirklees councillors have also backed protests.

Dan Sutherland, Calderdale ward councillor for Mixenden said: “This clearly shows the passion in which local people value their vital hospital services. In my ward in Mixenden people are very concerned about travelling to Huddersfield for emergency hospital treatment and are hoping there is an alternative solution.”

Fellow councillor Lisa Lambert added: “We’ve yet to be consulted about these proposals and we’ve been putting questions to the cabinet to ask the question of why this is happening and they don’t seem to know what the figures are.

“People’s lives are going to be put at risk. We can’t lose our A&E. I’ve travelled the route and it takes 35 minutes on a quiet Sunday morning. How can that be possible for our emergency care?”

Evangelina Sargeant, 22, said: “I’m from Todmorden and this is going to have such a big impact on people to not have A&E services closer to them. I have also come to support Unison and the workers whose jobs will be affected if this goes ahead.”

Jasmine Grant, 44, said: “I just think its appalling to close down the A&E. People are going to have to travel. It’s just ludicrous. Where are people going to go?

“The decisions of this coalition government are going to hit the poorest people who are going to suffer.”

Two campaign groups, Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group and Band Together for the NHS are to present a united front to fight the ‘preferred option’ changes proposed by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

The preferred option is to close A&E at Calderdale Royal.

Fears for the future of A&E in Huddersfield and Calderdale

Huddersfield and Calderdale A&E options to be revealed

Plans to close either Huddersfield or Calderdale A&E unit confirmed

Huddersfield and Calderdale A&E shake-up questions answered

Read your social media comments on the proposed changes to A&E in Huddersfield or Halifax

The traffic could have killed me: Man saved at Huddersfield A&E spells out life and death choice of travelling to Halifax under plans

Huddersfield NHS bosses accused of 'dereliction of duties' over proposals to cut A&E

£150m and 100 fewer beds: real cost of Huddersfield and Halifax hospital shake-up options revealed

Protest march over feared NHS A&E cuts in Halifax

Huddersfield health chiefs grilled at first public meeting over hospital plans

Kirklees Council health panel joins forces with Calderdale to oversee hospital A&E shake-up plan

Click here to take you back to more Huddersfield news .

Want to read, watch and hear more? You can download the FREE Examiner Apple App  here , the FREE Examiner Android App  here  or you can view the paper as an e-edition on your Apple, Android or Kindle device by clicking  here

To follow us on Twitter click here