Anyone who’s interested in getting involved in a campaign to protect Calderdale A&E from any reduction in its services is welcome at a public meeting called by UNISON’s Michael Parkinson and Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker, at the Fox & Goose, 9 Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge HX7 6AZ, at 6pm on Wednesday 26th February.
Members of existing Protect Our NHS groups, such as Calderdale NHS 38 Degrees, are welcome. There is strength in numbers and it would be good to link up with existing/ongoing campaigns.
You can find out more here about current (secretive) proposals to “reform” Calderdale A&E, and about the Hospital Closure Clause in the Care Bill here. The Care Bill is now in the late stages of going through Parliament to create new legislation that will make it harder for hospitals and the public they serve to protect themselves against closures. The New Statesman says,
“The new regulation would allow Jeremy Hunt to close any hospital or department in Britain and rob the public of their right to protest.”
The Care Bill started in the House Of Lords and will have its final vote in the House of Commons in early March. This could be the final chance that MPs have to vote on the bill, so it really is crunch time. There is widespread public opposition to it and you can write
to our MP Craig Whittaker about why he should oppose it (even though he’s so far voted in favour of it in its earlier stages through the House of Commons).
Louise Irvine, who is the chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign which successfully overturned attempts to close successful and valued departments at the hospital, has started a petition calling on Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, to resign and take his Hospital Closure Clause of the Care Bill with him.
She will be handing in the petition on Thursday 27th February, at a public rally in London.
Michael Parkinson, who works for UNISON, has been setting up the early stages of a Unison campaign regarding threats to A & E services in Calderdale and Plain Speaker has been consistently reporting on threats to NHS Calderdale and NHS England from the stealth privatisation laws that came into effect on April 1 2013, when the Health and Social Care Act kicked in.