‘Back-tracking’ over cash-strapped hospital

A YORKSHIRE MP has accused David Cameron of back-tracking on his General Election promise of protecting an accident and emergency department at a cash-starved hospital trust.

Holly Lynch MP for Halifax

The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS trust was revealed in the summer to be facing a £19m deficit and Mr Cameron said he would ensure Calderdale Royal Hospital would continue to provide “great services” when he stopped in Halifax during his election campaign.

At yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Holly Lynch, the MP for Halifax, ason the NHS ked for more clarity on the future of Calderdale Royal’s A&E service, which is under threat due to reorganisation of services.

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She said: “During the General Election campaign, the Prime Minister came to my constituency and promised to keep Calderdale Royal’s A&E department open and sort out the financial mess that our hospital was in. Since then, the Government have back-tracked on both promises, saying that these are matters for the local NHS trust and for the clinical commissioning group.

“Will the Prime Minister show that he is a man of his word by meeting me to discuss ways in which he can honour his election promises?”

But Mr Cameron responded by saying the Government was investing £10bn in the NHS across the country and that decisions should be made locally by trusts, adding: “We certainly haven’t back tracked on what we promised.

“We said we would put more money into the NHS. Calderdale Hospital is an absolutely vital service.”

Calderdale Royal has been struggling to cope with large debts and a planned reorganisation could mean its A&E department is axed, said Ms Lynch.

In April, the Prime Minister used a campaign stop in Halifax to claim that a Tory government would tackle the perilous financial state of hospital trusts, adding: “I want people to know that Calderdale Royal Hospital is going to provide great services.”

Ms Lynch said: “Figures released this week show the NHS is now in the grips of the worst financial crisis in a generation, and our NHS Foundation Trust here in Calderdale desperately needs government help with its crippling debts.”

Last month it was reported the trust was struggling to recruit nursing staff and relies heavily on a high number of agency staff.