MPs' reaction to review of maternity unit changes
THE trio of Huddersfield area MPs battling hospital changes have welcomed news of an independent review into the health proposals.
Huddersfield's Barry Sheerman, Colne Valley's Kali Mountford and Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, which includes Denby Dale, Shelley and Kirkburton, said they were delighted at the move.
Plans to replace the maternity and special care baby service at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with a midwife-led unit have been universally unpopular with people in the town.
Ms Mountford said: "The decision will be reviewed by a panel of people whose sole remit will be to look at the clinical needs of people in the area.
"I said in my letter to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt that the only way to ensure that the proposals ensured public confidence was to have an independent review. I welcome her decision to agree to my request.
"I am delighted this decision has now been referred."
Mr Sheerman said he was pleased, saying: "It is a fresh pair of eyes to look at the situation. It is nice to get it out of the hands of the local trust and local decision-makers and get an independent, objective view."
Mr Sheerman said he believed this was just the latest in a line of efforts to take hospital services away.
He added: "I've always been concerned that they have been determined to do this for many years.
"If the review says the proposals are wrong then the people at the trust are going to have to take a long, hard look at themselves."
Mrs Creagh said: "I'm pleased someone else will get to look at these proposals.
"People have lost confidence in these proposals and it is important that an outside body has the opportunity to run the rule over them.
"It will be good for people to know that these plans have been looked at impartially."