On Monday 20th June 2016, Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group and Huddersfield Keep Our NHS Public handed in petitions signed by 15,339 people to Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups, calling on the CCGs to keep both Huddersfield and Halifax A&Es open, 24/7.
10,286 people signed the Huddersfield Keep our NHS Public petition, that states:
“WE THE UNDERSIGNED SAY NO TO ANY CUTS TO NHS ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY SERVICES IN HUDDERSFIELD AND HALIFAX”.
Paul Cooney and others handed in the petition at the GHCCG office in Huddersfield.
5,053 people signed the Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign petition, that is addressed to the Chief Officer of Calderdale CCG and states:
“We the undersigned demand there is no downgrading to Calderdale or Huddersfield A&E Departments and instead call for a huge investment in services to provide safe and decent staffing levels.”
Matt Walsh, the Calderdale CCG Chief Officer accepted the petition but declined to be photographed doing so and swiftly walked away.
Rosemary Hedges, Secretary of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign, said
“Our campaign group has found that the Calderdale public feel passionately about the risk of losing a range of health services as a result proposals for cutting hospital services and replacing them with unevidenced community health services, and they believe that their fellow citizens in Huddersfield are also entitled to a full range of services.”
Charlie Gates, another Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS campaigner, said,
“Let’s hope 15,000 people who signed the two petitions are not ignored.”
Thanks to everyone who’s signed the petitions over the last two years, in rain, snow and sunshine.
As Jane Rendle, Chair of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign, said at a Joint Health Scrutiny Committee meeting at the start of the so-called public consultation on the proposed future arrangements for hospital and community health services,
“We have been engaging with Calderdale residents on the streets for more than two years and people have been eager, even crossing the road, to sign our petition against the closure of either A+E.”
The public consultation closes at midnight on June 21st. If you haven’t already filled in a survey, there is some advice here from Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS, a network of local NHS campaign groups, including Huddersfield KONP and Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group.
So far, 5,049 people have filled in the consultation survey. Whatever the CCGs make of the consultation survey response – and Matt Walsh has said they will use it to “flex details” of their proposals, 15,339 people have told them their plans are NOT ON!