Green Party leader Natalie Bennett visited the upper Calder Valley and gave her support to the Calderdale and Huddersfield Save our A&Es campaign.
Calderdale Green Party is active in the campaign to keep both A&Es open, in the face of NHS chiefs’ proposals to close one or both A&Es.
The likelihood is that Calderdale Royal Hospital A&E would be the one to close.
Natalie Bennett told Calderdale Green Party members that similar cuts in London were having a negative effect on services.
The proposed A&E cuts are only part of a major shake-up of NHS and social care services in Calderdale and Huddersfield, known as “Right Care, Right Time, Right Place.”
NHS Chiefs want to replace acute and emergency hospital services with a new system of care in the community, based on a model used by the private American health care company Kaiser Permanente.
Phase one of this process would be to put existing community care services out to competitive tender, meaning that contracts could go to private companies and phase two would be to shift hospital-based services into the “community”.
Public consultation about the proposed cuts to acute and emergency hospital services would only take place once the new community care system is in place.
Calderdale Green Party says that NHS commissioners have a legal obligation to consult the public about significant NHS changes such as the introduction of the “Right Care” community health and social care system - now rebranded as “Care Closer to Home.”