Proposals which put the future of Accident and Emergency at risk of closure are driven by money, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has said.
The MP has this week launched a petition urging support for continuing A&E services at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital.
Five proposals have been put forward for the future which include no change; HRI loses its A&E or CRH loses its A&E mitigated by increased specialist care at Holme Valley Memorial Hospital and at Todmorden; downgrading both A&Es and relying on a major unit further afield; or something else.
Barry Sheerman said: “I will be handing the petition to the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and to Parliament to show the level of support we have to maintain A&E.
“The reaction since it was announced has been amazing, there is an enormous amount of people who have offered their support and there are people angry too at what they see as a very clear position on future changes.
“We all want the best for the health service and we believe it should be local.”
When it was first announced the MP said he wanted more details about what was behind the move.
He now feels money is the main driver and said: “The desire here is to save £50m a year.
“I think people feel this is about saving money and austerity.
“But what impact does that have on the community? When you close a community facility down you no longer have the ability to provide good local services.
“People need essential community support systems and I think we have got to fight for it.”
The petition calls on people to sign it if they “don’t want our local hospitals to become yet another casualty of the Government’s failed health policy.”
It adds: “Huddersfield deserves an excellent local health service, and I know people from Huddersfield will want to speak up about this. Let’s work together to save A&E services in Huddersfield and Calderdale.”
The petition can be found at www.barrysheerman.co.uk
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