Campaigners opposing a major shake-up of hospital services are set to launch legal action at a public meeting this week.
Leaders of Hands Off HRI are urging residents of Huddersfield and surrounding areas to attend the “milestone” public meeting at 7pm on Thursday (Aug 31) at the Methodist Mission on Lord Street in Huddersfield to get an update on the campaign and hear legal advice from campaign solicitors Irwin Mitchell.
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust plans to axe the A&E department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary , replace the 400-bed hospital with a 64-bed “planned care” facility and transfer capacity to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax which will be expanded to have 676 beds.
Objectors say the decision taken by Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Panel on July 21 to refer the plans to health minister Jeremy Hunt and the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) had thrown up a huge number of questions about what this would mean for the communities of Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale in West Yorkshire.
Irwin Mitchell leading solicitor Yogi Amin will address the meeting and the first hour will be given over to questions and answers from the floor.
Hands Off HRI says it is considering launching a legal case against the CCG to hold their proposals to account.
Mr Amin will set out the case for instigating legal proceedings and all the costs of proceeding with legal action.
The meeting will also be addressed by Adrian O’Malley, of trade union Unison, which recently backed the campaign with a £500 donation for the successful sponsored walk last week.
A spokesperson for Hands Off HRI said: “We have been out in Huddersfield town centre every week leafleting and collecting signatures since councillors referred the whole process to Jeremy Hunt and the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.
“We hope the meeting can address all these questions and of course decide what we now need to do to take our campaign forward. To continue to maintain the fantastic support people have given this campaign, it’s very important everyone is kept informed about the future of their hospital.”