See for yourself, minister urged

Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Paula Sherriff has invited the Health Minister Ben Gummer to visit the area to meet with local Trust leaders and to again ask him to ensure that there is no negative impact on local people.

Hospital downgrades and closures are happening up and down the country. Two out of three NHS Trusts are in deficit and the situation is only set to get worse.

During a meeting with Mr Gummer alongside Jo Cox MP for Batley and Spen late last month, Miss Sherriff raised local concerns about the implications of the proposed changes across Kirklees.

Later speaking in Parliament, Miss Sherriff, a former health worker and member of the Health Select Committee said:

‘The loss of full emergency services in Dewsbury was a bitter blow and now we hear that Calderdale & Greater Huddersfield CCGs are planning their own hospital downgrade.

These plans will see the whole of Kirklees without any Accident & Emergency provision.  That’s over 430,000 people who will have to travel outside the borough to access vital emergency healthcare for themselves and their loved ones.  How can this be acceptable?’

Many local people are concerned about the combined impact of the changes at Dewsbury & District Hospital and the recent announcement of a further planned closure of A&E services at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. Miss Sherriff attended the debate in Parliament with fellow Kirklees MPs to raise local concerns on the issue.

In just over a month since the Huddersfield proposals were announced there has been a massive public outcry. The Facebook campaign has over 46,000 members alongside a UK Government petition ‘Prevent the Closure of Huddersfield A&E Department’ which at the time of writing has over 59,000 signatures. 

Miss Sherriff said:

‘I’m working hard to keep up the pressure on the Government to resolve the serious shortfall in A&E care that is threatening local residents due to their failed health policy. I want to make sure the minister follows up on the concerns Jo and I raised with him last month. I urge the Government to take account of the concerns local people have about the reconfiguration and downgrade of our health services.

I campaigned against the closure of the Accident & Emergency Department in Dewsbury prior to my election. I simply cannot sit back and watch this situation any longer. Action must be taken and it is my job, as your MP, to stand up and fight for my constituents.’