Labour rage at future threat to hospital

Labour Parliamentary candidates Holly Lynch and Josh Fenton-Glynn, right, with Labour leader coun Tim Swift outside Calderdale Royal A and E
Labour Parliamentary candidates Holly Lynch and Josh Fenton-Glynn, right, with Labour leader coun Tim Swift outside Calderdale Royal A and E

Leading Labour campaigners have warned controversial changes to Calderdale Royal Hospital will be back on the agenda within months of the General Election.

Labour Parliamentary candidates Holly Lynch and Josh Fenton-Glynn and Labour leader coun Tim Swift issued the stark warning about proposals which could see the closure of Calderdale’s Accident and Emergency department.

Josh Fenton-Glynn, Calderdale’s Parliamentary candidate for the Lower Valley, said: “We’ve had to deal with misleading claims from senior Conservatives, including Craig Whittaker, who has sought to deny that there was ever any threat to Calderdale’s A&E. Now it’s been shown once again that the threat is real, and could be back on the table far sooner than any of us expected.”

Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Panel met on March 25 for a presentation by Monitor - the Government’s NHS regulatory body.

Holly Lynch, Parliamentary candidate for Halifax, said: “I am shocked to find that health managers are already planning a new consultation on the future of hospital services.

“The Government’s health watchdog Monitor has already said that it is ‘unusual’ for one Trust to have two full A&Es, so it’s clear that the future of Calderdale’s Accident and Emergency Department is going to be at the heart of any changes.”

Councillor Tim Swift said: “Only a few weeks ago, all parties on the Council signed up to the recommendations of the Health Commission which Labour set up. One of the recommendations was that changes to hospital configuration should only be considered when new community services were in place and proved, so it’s very worrying to find that we could now be plunged into further proposals for reorganisation as early as this summer.”

The three Labour campaigners have written their concerns to the Chair of Calderdale CCG, and the Chair and Chief Executive of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust.