Hospital campaigners urge Calderdale Council to launch formal inquiry into NHS shake-up plan

Activists urge council to act now rather than waiting for NHS review

Calderdale Royal Hospital

Campaigners fighting plans to shake-up NHS care in Calderdale and Huddersfield are urging councillors to launch a formal inquiry.

Members of Calderdale Trades Council and Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group say they believe Calderdale Council has the power to probe the controversial plans now rather than at the end of the consultation process – expected to be later this year.

Earlier this year Calderdale Council asked hospital chiefs from Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust to withdraw their wide ranging restructure plan, which includes proposals to shut an A&E ward.

The plan was not withdrawn and health chiefs in Huddersfield and Calderdale are currently considering the hospitals’ ideas.

A People’s Commission has been launched in Calderdale to independently review the overhaul of services, dubbed Right Care, Right Time, Right Place. But campaigners have called on councillors to expedite their inquiry and will lobby the council’s Adult Health and Scrutiny Panel at Halifax Town Hall at 5.30pm on Tuesday, July 1.

A spokesperson for Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group said: “This is a hugely unpopular plan and the Panel would be acting in the interests of a large percentage of the community if they did this.”

The Chair of Calderdale Council’s Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel, Clr Malcolm James said: “When the Adults, Health and Scrutiny Panel meets on Tuesday 1 July we will decide our work plan for the year ahead. As Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group is certain to make recommendations for service changes during 2014/15 arising from the work of Right Care Right Time Right Place, the Scrutiny Panel will wish to consider how they include this within the work programme.”

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