A renowned lawyer has joined the fight to save Huddersfield’s A&E from closure.
Yogi Amin, a specialist in public law, will represent the #HandsOffHRI campaign in a bid to derail a hospital shake-up plan which could close the emergency department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI).
Mr Amin, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, specialises in law relating to access to NHS healthcare, access to social care and public inquiries.
He has fought some high profile cases which have received national media attention.
Mr Amin is representing the family of murdered Leeds schoolteacher Ann Maguire in calling for an independent review of the case.
He is fighting for an independent review into the sudden closure of Bootham Park Hospital, York.
And Mr Amin represented a father in a High Court battle to have his son’s life support machine switched off after the boy’s mother refused to make the decision due to her religious beliefs.
Now #HandsOffHRI hopes Mr Amin will be able to pick holes in the Right Care Right Time Right Place (RCRTRP) plan.
Mr Amin, head of the public law team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The campaign group feels very strongly that the A&E department should stay in Huddersfield and are concerned about patient safety should the proposed closure go ahead.
“We have been instructed to investigate the lawfulness of the consultation and decision making process.”
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RCRTRP, proposed by Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs (clinical commissioning groups), will lead to the demolition of HRI and the centralisation of emergency care at Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax.
A new Huddersfield hospital will be built with an urgent care centre, but no emergency care unit.
Natalie Ratcliffe, #HandsOffHRI secretary, spoke of the campaign group’s delight at hiring such a high-profile lawyer.
Ms Ratcliffe said: “We’re really excited and we can’t believe our luck.
“The lawyers will be looking at flaws in the consultation and we hope the Kirklees and Calderdale joint scrutiny committee will bat it back.
“If it still goes ahead Irwin Mitchell will look at a judicial review and taking to the High Court.”
#HandsOffHRI is raising cash for Irwin Mitchell’s fees.
The total cost can, however, be capped at around £29,000 if those bringing the action against Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs qualify for legal aid.
Now #HandsOffHRI is appealing for people who claim benefits to join the campaign.
To get in touch with #HandsOffHRI visit: http://handsoffhri.org.