Worried about the state of our NHS

Josh Fenton-Glynn and campaigners opposing cuts to the A&E department at Calderdale Royal Hospital
Josh Fenton-Glynn and campaigners opposing cuts to the A&E department at Calderdale Royal Hospital

I called the recent series of debates on the NHS between the candidates for the general election because people in the Calder Valley have the right to know where their local representatives and candidates stand.

Our Tory MP has been clear throughout that he favours options which would see both Halifax and Huddersfield A&Es downgraded beyond recognition, admitting he knew his views were “incredibly controversial”.

My position is clear - there must be urgent care attached to both sites. A walk-in centre with an A&E sign above the door simply won’t do.

Mr Whittaker is wrong to suggest I haven’t engaged with the trust on this issue, and he knows it.

As I explained to him more than once, I met with a number of people on the board to discuss the proposals and attended public engagement events.

I invited the board’s chairman to two meetings: one attended by 400 members of the public and one with Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham when I brought him to Halifax to discuss the issue.

On both occasions he not attend.

Mr Whittaker must take us for fools when he has the gall to claim this Government’s management of our NHS has been anything other than disastrous.

Last year in the Calder Valley, 23,000 people were unable to see their GP within a week, and a Halifax GP felt it necessary to write to his patients to tell them the situation was “no longer safe”.

The NHS will never be safe in Tory hands. In me, you would have an MP who will always stand up for our local health services.

The effect of the cost of living crisis in Yorkshire continues.

The average Yorkshire family is £2,000 a year worse off under this Government. David Cameron has overseen the biggest fall in living standards since the industrial revolution.

And his Government is failing the North. It remains the case that £9 out of every £10 spent on railways by this Government is handed to London and the South East, while the chronic underinvestment in our local rail infrastructure continues.

That’s why this week I helped launch a campaign for better trains on the Brighouse line.

The Pacer trains currently on the line are unreliable and have been subject to safety concerns since 2011.

By Labour Parliamentary candidate for the Calder Valley Josh Fenton-Glynn