I feel both empathy and sympathy for Philip Allott in last week’s “Your Say”. Empathy because I was born in the old Halifax General Hospital, as were my mum and dad and, recently, my grandson just a few weeks ago. Like Mr Allott, I’ve lost mum only recently and dad, Max Crossley, a little earlier, both at Calderdale Royal.
Both passed away with dignity and ultimate care bestowed upon them by our place of excellence. I have sympathy for Mr Allott as he has to defend his Government’s sad coalition stance on this occasion.
Although admittedly he is an out of towner, he does understand the needs of Halifax people and Calderdale residents in general. Yet on this theme, unlike Mr Allott scoring political points on emotive issues like our hospital, I honestly cannot help myself. This man, of Knaresborough, was passing leaflets about me in the Skircoat ward saying I was not local to the area during a by-election when I stood as a candidate. I have lived in Shelf all of my life.
He is between a rock and a hard place. The rock is his government and party stance on reorganisation of the NHS. His hard place is the fact that Halifax and Calderdale folk feel strongly about their hospital. To us sir, it is a life and death issue.
UKIP Candidate for Northowram and Shelf.
We don’t back scare tactics
I have listened to Sowerby Bridge residents’ concerns about the possible closure of Calderdale A&E. Like me, the vast majority are against it. I will fight hard to keep it open.
My mother was a district nurse and midwife and I have always cared deeply about the NHS. My Conservative colleagues and I are totally opposed to any suggestion of closure of Calderdale A&E. Rather than indulging in the scaremongering politics practised by some, local Conservatives will continue to stress the need for a grown-up conversation on this issue and will continue to put the interests of patients first. No to closure! Yes to improved services!
Unite to send a strong message
Coun John Hardy, Marcus Thompson and myself would like to confirm that we fully support the retention of A&E services in Halifax.
We have compaigned with the Halifax Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Philip Allott to support retaining A&E services in Halifax, taking part in the protest on Saturday, March 15, and petition signing in the town centre. From the moment it was clear what the proposals were, the Conservative team in Skircoat have opposed closure of Halifax A&E.
Our position is a non political one, because we believe this is what the residents of Skircoat and Calderdale wish for. As politicians we need to put the needs of the people of Calderdale above political posturing and point scoring, something that we will continue to do. We must be seen to be united to ensure a strong message is presented to the CCG that what is being proposed regarding the A&E is not acceptable to the people of Calderdale.
Conservative Candidate Skircoat
No-one is saying A&E must close
Following publication of a major review of health services in Calderdale by a team of healthcare professionals, there has been much public anxiety over the future of A& E in Halifax. We need to be clear: no-one is proposing emergency care disappears from Calderdale Royal and if there were such a proposal, Conservatives would oppose it. The healthcare professionals who have examined this complex issue have put forward five options for public discussion. Those who argue for no change need to explain how that can be reconciled with the large and growing need for planned care, especially for the growing elderly population.
They need to show the full range of specialist medical and care staff would be available now and in the future and that no change would represent the best and most effective use of NHS resources. Despite the sneering of some correspondents, there is a problem, widely acknowledged within the NHS and by healthcare experts, of people using A& E services who in fact need a less intensive level of care in a different setting.
The Labour Party could help with this problem by first acknowledging that the Labour government’s handling of the GP contract negotiations was disastrously incompetent, leading to the vast majority of GPs opting out of out-of-hours care, and, secondly, by making constructive suggestions for ending the huge waste of A& E time and resources its incompetence helped to create. Calderdale Conservatives would oppose any suggestion of closure of Calderdale A&E. In fact, none of the options proposed by the health care professionals is suggesting a complete closure of Halifax A&E. Rather than indulging in scaremongering practised by some, local Conservatives will continue to stress the need for a grown-up conversation on this issue and put the interests of patients first.
Those interests will best be served by the most effective deployment of NHS resources, especially the superbly skilled and caring staff.
A rational debate needs to include consideration of changes in medical treatments and technology, especially in emergency care, and the impact of ever-expanding demand for a huge variety of different forms of long term, complex, planned care. The naked manipulation of public anxiety by some local politicians in their own narrow interest needs to stop; this issue, which will affect people in Calderdale for decades to come, is too important for that.
(Conservative Candidate, Greetland & Stainland Ward)
How can he represent Halifax?
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Last week’s front page Courier story had Philip Allott, the Conservative general election candidate for Halifax, grumbling that the NHS Foundation Trust Board can’t really represent the interests of local people as most of them live in Kirklees. Strange then that he hails from distant Knaresborough yet seems to feel he is fit to represent Halifax people at Westminster.
Councillor Anne Collins
About cash - not a better service
At a time when it seems that the people’s NHS is under attack from inside and out, certainly locally and also nationally, that the Halifax Courier needs to be supported so relavant information can be diseminated to the people. It has been noted from corrospondents to “Your Say” recently that the Calderdale Royal Hospital had its origins in the ministrations of Halifax Parish Church, and the old Halifax Royal Infirmary was set up by local people for sixpence a week.
The Infirmary has been taken away from us and it looks as if the Calderdale Royal Hospital will go the same way as the once excellent Northowram Hospital. I obviously don’t know what the true motives of the management who want our A&E to move to Huddersfeild are, but I would guess they are not for the benefit of we ordinary people!
If those who take these sorts of descisions got onto a friendly bus or two to get from Halifax to Huddersfield or worse, from Todmorden, they might be more understanding of the peoples’ concerns. They will tell us how much better the new provisions of the service will be, but we have heard so many times before such nonsense, that we no longer believe them even if they genuinely believe it themselves! I am old enough to think it has nothing to do with a better service,but only to do with money.
Take a look at results over there
Those that would argue that “reconfiguration” of A&E services in Halifax and Huddersfield would be well advised to take a look at the lasted A&E performance figures published by the BBC for this winter. Of the 144 trusts, Calderdale & Kirklees was the 32nd best performing trust with 95.6 per cent of patients seen within 4 hours. Over the border in East Lancashire the hospitals went through a controversial reconfiguration with A&E services concentrated on Blackburn Royal. Just like Calderdale and Kirklees NHS bosses there promised improved services. East Lancashire Trust’s recent performance? The 15th worst in the country with 88.6 per cent of patients seen within 4 hours. Faced with that record NHS bosses for our area need to explain why they are going down a route that has proved catastrophic for patients in East Lancashire.
Spearhead campaign against this
I would have thought that the Courier would be spearheading a campaign against the closure of Calderdale A&E.
Petitions need to be signed by all of the people in Calderdale for it to have any effect. If people dont waken up to what is happening Halifax after once having had three hospitals, will end up without one at all! What possible reason would anyone with any common sense move A&E from a new hospital to a run down dilapitated one in Huddersfield?
B. Greenwood ( Mrs)