VIDEO: Tonight's meeting

Don't worry if you missed the meeting...

... we’ve got videos uploading as we speak - and you can read this liveblog for a recap.

Meeting has ended

Thank you all for coming tonight, it’s been a fantastic turnout. We hope you will come to us and help us with our strategy. - Meeting chair Natalie

Final question

Terry Hall of Holmfirth: Only 14 weeks to consultation. Need to ensure turnout, and lobbying at meetings.


Karl Deitch: Says was working when saw Examiner post about potential A&E closure - set up Facebook group five minutes later.

“All I’m trying to do is make this bigger and make people notice. We have 40-odd thousand members and more than 40 thousand signatures on a petition and the campaign is 11 days old.”

Need for people power

Steering committee

What's the strategy?

Question: What is your strategy for this large group of people going forward?

Audience Q&A: What is your strategy?
Audience Q&A: What is your strategy?

Natalie: This campaign is in its infancy. We need to get people from wider public to join to help us formulate strategy. Consultation hasn’t begun yet. We’re doing what we can, people can join to help.

Follow up: Committee should be more representative of people of Kirklees - ‘very white panel’ - another audience member calls for campaign to avoid arguments.

Kirklees Council has passed resolution to oppose plans to close Huddersfield A&E

Clr Erin Hill explains that councillors are united in supporting the #handsoffHRI campaign

Will you be there?

Is this a done deal?

No it’s not, it’s why we’re here, we have to fight it! - meeting chair Natalie

Reaching all corners of the community

Audience Q&A
Audience Q&A

Audience asks about reaching older people and those not on social media.

Meeting chair Natalie replies members have been going out with paper petitions and canvassing

Geoff Potter asks where the press are

We’re here, Geoff!



All about cash

Lots of questions from the audience about PFI and funding... committee says will pass them on

Question - scrap PFIs?

Man in audience: Will campaign call for PFI’s to be scrapped?

Now for the Q&A round

Q from Pat Jones, of Slaithwaite SOS, fighting to save Slaithwaite doctor’s surgery: Need to ask about surgeries as well as hospital, as cuts will lead to more pressure on A&E. Says money going to those being paid for PFI - Are the MPs going to fight for more funding for NHS England?


March planned for February 6

Chair Natalie asks if #handsoffHRI want to take part in March on Feb 6 - unanimous support from audience


Campaign needs to raise cash

Meeting chair Natalie: Group will set up a bank account, planning events to raise funds for campaign.


Our reporter Nick has a front row seat

Speaker: Lianne Hunter from Huddersfield University Students' Union

Leanne of Huddersfield University SU addresses the crowd
Leanne of Huddersfield University SU addresses the crowd
  • Not once were student mentioned in the report... ‘absolutely diabolical’
  • Healthcare is a top concern amongst students alongside fees
  • Healthcare and midwifery students take placements at HRI
  • Student protest at Briar Court was ‘just the start’... forming mass movement
  • We want to unite with your campaign and the community

Speaker: Dr Adnan Mohammed

Dr Adnan Mohammed addresses the meeting
Dr Adnan Mohammed addresses the meeting
  • I would like to give a voice to the children of the area - 50,000-60,000
  • Children are a special group... if you or I lose half a pint of blood we might survive - but for children it’s life or death
  • Need a well-staffed, well-equipped A&E department to serve the whole community - the only way forward in the 21st century

Speaker: Sean Doyle, marathon runner saved at HRI after double heart attack

Please give it your all and support this campaign... like they saved me.”

Sean Doyle addresses the meeting
Sean Doyle addresses the meeting

Speaker: Crosland Moor and Netherton Labour Clr Erin Hill

Clr Erin Hill addresses the meeting
Clr Erin Hill addresses the meeting
  • Erin is talking about her personal family experiences with A&E - cousin was transferred to Stockport during labour complications
  • “It’s about making sure that nobody suffers any more than they have to.”
  • “Huddersfield is just latest in nearly 70 nationally facing closure or or a downgrade, including Dewsbury.”

Proposal timeline

If you need to recap the journey to the current proposals, here’s a timeline:


Unite member Paul Cooney takes the mic

Paul Cooney addresses the meeting
Paul Cooney addresses the meeting
  • Proposals about A&E changes first came to light late 2012/early 2013
  • Came from senior management, not staff - staff were shocked by the plans
  • Set up group ‘Huddersfield Keep Our NHS Public group’
  • Says campaign should support keeping full facilities at Calderdale Royal as well to avoid ‘us and them’


Audience interruptions

Some impatience from audience members about the planned Q&A session

Committee elected

  • Karl Deitch is chairman of the committee
  • Rebecca Cobb, local resident and town centre WI president has been elected secretary
  • Elliot Hinchliffe, Huddersfield resident has been elected treasurer


Forming a committee

As well as admins for the campaign Facebook group, a proper committee will be formed with chair, secretary and treasurer.

Karl has been nominated for chairman, to more applause.


The meeting has started

Unison organiser and Slaithwaite resident Natalie Ratcliffe is chairing the meeting, and has explained that the union has paid for the venue.

Facebook group founder Karl Deitch recieved a huge round of applause.

She says yesterday A&E admissions were sent to Keighley because both HRI and CRH were full to capacity and closed to admissions.

Almost time to start

Top table is ready

Banner at Let's Save Huddersfield A&E meeting
Banner at Let's Save Huddersfield A&E meeting