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Hands off HRI: Legal challenge launched to fight the A&E closure plans

Protesters set a target of £50,000 to meet the costs

Protesters fighting the proposal to close Huddersfield’s A&E department are mounting a legal challenge against the plan.

Mike Forster, a member of the protest group’s steering committee, said the challenge will be brought against the move by the Clinical Commissioning Groups which unveiled the proposal to switch A&E services from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to Calderdale Royal Hospital earlier this year.

RECAP: Hands Off HRI Rally, an amazing day in Huddersfield

The proposals would also see a new hospital built on the Acre Mills site in Lindley, to replace the existing Infirmary.

Financial pressures on the Calderdale hospital because of a Private Finance Initiative deal are blamed for the moves.

Mr Foster said the protesters have set a target of £50,000 to pay for the legal challenge and has appealed for help in raising the money.

He has also urged people to voice their anger at a series of roadshows being organised across Kirklees as part of the public consultation by the CCG in the coming weeks.

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He told people at the protest rally in Huddersfield on Saturday: “We want to clog these meetings up. We want you to turn up and tell them what you think.

“Thousands of people have demonstrated through Huddersfield, and this is only the beginning.”

A quick bucket collection at the rally raised more than £3,000.

Karl Deitch, chair of the #HandsOffHRI group, said: “All the money we are getting, and all the fundraising, will be transparent.

“People can put in a penny, a pound, whatever they want. And it will go towards getting a very good lawyer.

“We need a lawyer to go through all the documents.

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“I come from a normal background, and think that if you want to challenge something it is best to go down the legal route.”

He told the rally that the campaign is “the most important that the town will ever be involved in.

“We have come so far already. Let’s keep going and keep battling. We will save our A&E.”

Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS bosses have announced that the public consultation will begin on March 15, and will run until June 21.



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