Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has written to the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt concerning planned cuts in A&E and other services for Huddersfield and Calderdale residents.

The proposals, which would save millions of pounds, were revealed in February and led to a storm of protest. As part of the wide-ranging restructure plan one or both of the accident and emergency units at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary or Calderdale Royal Hospital could be downgraded.

In his letter Mr Sheerman stated: “I am writing to inform you of the strength of feeling amongst my constituents in their opposition to the proposed loss of vital health services.

“Good quality, local services provided free at the point of delivery are what people are entitled to receive and what they rightly expect.

“The NHS was founded on these principles and as people are expected to take more responsibility for their own health and are also expected to stay longer in their own homes, easy to reach facilities for acute and urgent problems are increasingly important.

“You will see that over 1,000 of my constituents have taken the time to sign a petition opposing plans to the A&E Department in either Huddersfield or Halifax.

“I hope you will also take the time to read some of the many comments I have received from constituents, including the story of a two-year-old with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia who owes his life to the Huddersfield A&E Department and those of many other constituents whose lives were saved by being able to reach essential services in time.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
 

“The Government’s £3 billion policy restructure of the NHS is, in my view, a failure. Waiting times are rising and services are deteriorating. Hardly a week goes by without an expert stressing that the NHS is at breaking point.”

Mr Sheerman says he is ready for a long campaign, adding: “We don’t intend to stop here, we aim to gather thousands more until this our A&E departments are safe. I would be pleased to meet you with a delegation of residents to talk about their views and to highlight the issues that we and other communities affected by the changes are concerned will affect people’s health.”

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