MP Barry Sheerman has alleged he was told by senior health figures to keep quiet over plans which could close Huddersfield’s A&E.
The Huddersfield MP says he was told ‘not to make too much fuss’ by local NHS chiefs after he was shown details of a hospital shake-up plan, days before they were released to the public.
Mr Sheerman said: “I was resigned to the fact that the most senior people in health care were telling me not to make too much fuss.”
The Labour member said the advice varied from ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ to more explicit after he and other important local figures were shown a preview of the latest developments in the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal.
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Mr Sheerman, however, revealed the plan to the Examiner ignoring the alleged wishes of the unnamed senior managers.
He said: “If there’s a danger with A&E we must fight it or people will think we’re a pushover.
“We will go to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt if we have to.
“Let’s not be swept into a corner. We’ll fight and keep on fighting.”
Mr Sheerman, who has been a Huddersfield MP since the late 1970s, said that having no A&E would leave Huddersfield as one of the biggest towns in England without a full casualty department within five miles.
He said: “It’s an absolute nightmare scenario.
“It’s not just the closure of the A&E it will affect, it will affect the whole hospital.”
Mr Sheerman added that without an A&E, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary would lose its ‘raison d’etre’ (reason to be).
He said: “It will gradually dry up the viability of the hospital in general.
“It’s a slippery slope; there’s no doubt about that.
“I’m firmly committed to the fact that we should keep both A&Es open and make sure those hospitals are brimming with activity.”
HRI recorded 69,096 attendances in 2012/13.
Watch the time-lapse video of the journey from St George's Square to Calderdale Royal Hospital below