Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield – Three Towns One Fight, Save Our NHS

A North Kirklees Support the NHS campaigner makes the links between the government’s attacks on our NHS in Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Halifax

Outsourced hospital planners Ernst and Young, not content with reducing Dewsbury A&E from Type 1 (full blue light A&E for life threatening emergencies) to Type 3 (an urgent care centre for minor injuries and ailments), have decided Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust should also close Huddersfield A&E.

A big 2014 study in California showed the negative impact of A&E closure, not only in the places where they had closed but also on neighbouring hospitals that still have a A&E – where the inpatient death rate increased. This is due to overcrowding from the neighbouring area, increased journey times and other factors like people delaying going to hospital because of increased distance.

Two academic studies – reported in the Journal of Emergency Medicine and the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery – have found that that increased distance to A&E is associated with increased risk of death.

Councillors on the Wakefield and Kirklees Joint Heath and Overview Scrutiny Committee may remember that in 2013, I warned them that Huddersfield Hospital was likely to close.

The Government’s mantra is pounds before patients. Yet starving of the NHS of money is a political choice. It is not an economic necessity. We are the 6th richest nation in the world.

North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group is facing its toughest financial year yet. The Finance Officer has left.

Perhaps people are beginning to get the gist of the Government’s plans for the whole health service. Support the Junior Doctors!

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