A peaceful protest against plans to close an A&E ward drew hundreds of campaigners to the streets.

The first large scale march against NHS chiefs’ proposals to reconfigure services in Huddersfield and Calderdale took place on Saturday.

Hospital chiefs say Calderdale Royal Hospital is more likely to lose its emergency service amid an ambitious shake-up of health care across the two areas.

A public consultation is due over the coming months but fearful residents have wasted no time in making their views known.

Video Loading
 

The march, dubbed ‘only a clown would decide to close our A&E’ saw an estimated 400 protesters walk from Hunger Hill to Halifax town centre, many dressed as clowns.

The family friendly campaign was organised by father-of-three Gary Scott who said he was sick of the cuts.

Gary, who made a speech against health chiefs’ plans to a throng of protesters, said he was pleased with the turn out.

“Originally it was going to be 30 of my friends, so to see hundreds on the streets was amazing,” he said. “It wasn’t a party political thing – there were lots of people there. The situation is most people don’t want this to happen.”

Gary, who dressed up as a clown for the march, said after almost two decades of political apathy the possibility that his local casualty ward could be axed was the final straw for him.

“I’ve been disengaged from politics,” he said. “I haven’t voted since 1997.

“But I’ve seen cut after cut and things have gone too far now so I’m thinking about standing in the next local elections.

“I’ve never had to use CRH but the rest of my family are quite accident prone so I do know it well.

“My daughters were born there too.

“And it’s not just about having to drive to Huddersfield – there’s large changes that could affect us for the next 20 years.

“It seems silly that a hospital that was recently built could be mothballed.”

There was also musical protest with rapper Joe Cusimano urging people to get involved. Click below to see him in action.

Video Loading
 

A public meeting about the wide-ranging proposals, which could see either Huddersfield or Halifax A&E downgraded to a minor injuries unit, is to take place at Halifax Sports Centre at 12.30pm on Saturday, March 29.

Fears for the future of A&E in Huddersfield and Calderdale

Huddersfield and Calderdale A&E options to be revealed

Plans to close either Huddersfield or Calderdale A&E unit confirmed

Huddersfield and Calderdale A&E shake-up questions answered

Read your social media comments on the proposed changes to A&E in Huddersfield or Halifax

The traffic could have killed me: Man saved at Huddersfield A&E spells out life and death choice of travelling to Halifax under plans

Huddersfield NHS bosses accused of 'dereliction of duties' over proposals to cut A&E

Click here to take you back to more Huddersfield news.

Want to read, watch and hear more? You can download the FREE Examiner Apple App here, the FREE Examiner Android App here or you can view the paper as an e-edition on your Apple, Android or Kindle device by clicking here

To follow us on Twitter click here