Fight goes on for campaigners over proposal to close infirmary

HEALTH campaigners have pledged to carry on fighting after health bosses in Huddersfield voted to virtually end hospital care in the town.

A meeting of Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (GHCCG) debated plans today concerning the future of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Members of the governing body passed a vote to support hospital chiefs’ plan to move the majority of care to Halifax. The plans will now be recommended to NHS England.

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Campaigners voiced anger as GPs and other clinical members raised their hands to show their support for the idea which would result in the infirmary demolished and Huddersfield left without a full Accident & Emergency department.

Members of Hands Off HRI (HoHRI) campaign group walked out of the meeting.

The meeting at the Textile Centre in Huddersfield was disturbed throughout by an HoHRI rally outside and members heckling inside.

After a debate over the merits of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s Full Business Case, the 14 members of the CCG’s governing body were asked for a show of hands. Only Dr Dil Ashraf, a GP partner from Meltham Group Practice in Huddersfield, voted against supporting the plan. Calderdale CCG meets today to discuss the plan.

Dr Ashraf said GPs and other primary care services were not ready to take on extra patients created by closing down the infirmary and replacing it with a new 64-bed site.

HoHRI say they now plan to pursue a full Judicial Review to challenge the plans.

Cristina George of HoHRI said GPs are leaving and are not being replaced and the primary care service is struggling to cope with the extra work.