Scrap the plan which will close Huddersfield’s A&E and unite against Government underfunding of the NHS.

That’s the message in an open letter from #HandsOffHRI to Huddersfield and Calderdale health chiefs behind a plan to centralise emergency services in Halifax.

In the letter – also sent to MPs plus Kirklees and Calderdale councillors – campaigners identify Government underfunding as the root cause of a local NHS crisis.

The letter urges Huddersfield and Calderdale health bosses behind the Right Care Right Time Right Place plan to fight for adequate Government funding – rather than soldier on with the controversial plan.

Letter author and #HandsOffHRI secretary, Natalie Ratcliffe, writes: “Governments can always find more money when they need to. We’ve seen that most recently over budget plans.

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“NHS leaders and senior clinicians in Greater Huddersfield and Halifax are very aware that there is not enough money in the system.

“A clear and united statement that patient safety is being put at risk by insufficient finance would influence local politicians, and would put real pressure on the Government to review local funding allocations.

“We believe it’s time for patients and NHS staff to unite together in calling for adequate funding and an NHS that works for all of us.”

Under Right Care Right Time Right Place, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary will lose its A&E department while emergency care will be centralised in Halifax.

Huddersfield boxer Tyrone Nurse has backed the campaign - see his video below

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The 1,300-word letter criticises the ongoing public consultation on the plan as ‘deeply, perhaps illegally flawed’.

Ms Ratcliffe said: “We believe that the clinical case has not been convincingly described or promoted; when these matters have been raised at your drop in sessions members of the public have reported that they have felt patronised by your answers. Inadequate attention has also been given to responses during the consultation.”

The letter urges health bosses to pause the plan, which campaigners say is ‘about balancing the books’ and devise an alternative plan.

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Ms Ratcliffe said: “It is time to call a halt to this proposal, and to look at ‘bottom up’ change in a careful, collaborative – and funded – way instead.

“Another key issue to address is the fact that this proposal is about balancing the books; it is a cost saving exercise at the expense of patients...

“We believe that this proposal will not maintain or enhance standards of local care, nor will it protect those least able or the most deprived from a change of service that will widen inequalities, worsen their outcomes and increase user dissatisfaction.”

The letter concludes: “It is time to go back to the drawing board and provide a plan B that is acceptable to the people whose health needs you are employed to serve.”