Sucking the blood out of our hospital

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In the 15th century, Prince Vlad Dracula (yes that one!) of Wallachia was concerned that all his subjects work and contribute to the common welfare. He noticed that the poor and the infirm had become very numerous.

So, he invited them all to come to Tirgoviste for a great feast, claiming that none should go hungry in his land.
As the poor, halt, and lame arrived in the city they were ushered into a great hall where a fabulous feast was prepared for them. The guests ate and drank late into the night, whereupon, Vlad ordered the hall boarded up and set on fire. None escaped the flames.
Vlad explained his action by claiming he did this so that “they represent no further burden to other men, and that no one will be poor in my realm”.

Back in July last year, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt visited Calderdale Royal and tweeted: “Off to the Royal Calderdale (sic) in Halifax today to help out on A&E shift and learn from the frontline”. As we read that the closure of the A&E unit is the “preferred” option, I am left wondering exactly what it was that Mr Hunt learnt on that visit, and whether he’s learnt more from one of Romania’s most infamous sons instead.

Coun Nader Fekri

(Labour & Co-op, Calder Ward)


This move is going to cost lives

When my wife had her heart attack the Halifax Royal Infirmary was still open. The ambulance staff took her there, they said that she would not have made it to the General Hospital and survived and that was only 10 minutes away. So she would have never made it to Huddersfield 20 minutes away on a good day. That journey has taken me one hour at peak times. Problem is MPs think everyone has a mobile phone, a computer and a car. There are lot of people out there that does not. MPs judge our lives on what they have. Really have no idea how we live.

If you go from Halifax to Huddersfield by bus for most it is two buses costing about £5 - that alot don’t have to spare or a taxi.

This move is going to cost lives. I hope the person who decides to shut one or the other can live with that. That they caused that death. If they want to save money charge people that come to A&E because of drink and drugs, charge for unnecessary emergency calls. Also when people miss appointments for no good reason tell them they will be a £7 charge for the next one.

Tom Marriott


Too simple - motivated by costs

The Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Health and Social Care Strategic Review have revealed its preferred option; to see Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) provide 24 hour A&E while Calderdale would be left as a centre for “planned” care losing its A&E unit.
This is a too simplistic option, probably largely motivated by cost savings rather than the needs of patients. However, I am not sure that the retention of the traditional A&E format would best serve the latter either. So I am not sure that a campaign to “save our A&E” is the best response. My reasons for this are as follows:
What we need is the best possible response times, plus fully trained and equipped paramedics who stabilise the patient, plus rapid transport to the most appropriate location for ongoing treatment, which may well be Huddersfield – or Leeds, or elsewhere.
However, there is a is a ‘lower-level need’ for walk-in / drive-in cases on a local basis. In my view it is this element of need which should be dealt with locally.

And, by locally, I don’t just mean Halifax. There are areas of the Borough where travel routes and distances mean that even the retention of a “simple A&E”at Halifax would not be sufficient. Dare I mention the phrase Walk-in Centre and suggest that Todmorden in the upper valley may be an appropriate location for such a facility?!
So, I do not think it is as simple as close Halifax A&E and move it to Huddersfield or retain Halifax A&E – if we look at the needs of the patient and evolving emergency healthcare procedures then perhaps there is a more appropriate solution – particularly if we are not just aiming to save money at the patient’s expense?

Councillor Ashley Evans

(Lib Dem, Warley)


Consultation is the way - not secrecy

The behaviour of the Conservative-Liberal group in the budget demonstrates that the Cabinet system does not work in favour of Calderdale residents, it never has and never will.
UKIP believes Local Government should work on the traditional committee system and is petitioning parlament to do away with this stupid undemocratic system.
Now the time has come for all members not up for election in May to resign their seats and stand for election in the forlorn hope one party may form a majority. It wont happen ,because the Liberals cannot be trusted to do their part on this plan. Why Coun Baines fell for this secret budget is anyone’s guess, he of all people should know that prior consultation has to take place, and he has no authority to unilaterally change the workforces contracts, some of whom have only just joined the authority.

G Fielden

Ukip member,


How can any player be worth that?

So a professional footballer is going to get paid £300,000 a week. How can it be right that he is paid more in one week than the average working man or woman, doing a productive job, will earn in ten years? Have we lost all sense of values? And then we hear of a convicted murderer who has escaped while on ‘Day Release’! How and why does a murderer get day release? Are we, as a society, so daft that we think than Ethics is a county by the mouth of the river Thames? Heaven help us.

Lyndon Shearman

Whitewell Grove



Address car engines not smokers

In reply to our Halifax MP Linda Riordan, why do political people blame smokers?
I don’t smoke or drive cars so should all car doors be stamped like cigarette packets, with health warnings? Exhaust fumes, diesel etc cause cancer. Children get inflammation of air passages in the lungs caused by Nitric Oxide there is no effective treatment for this. It affects 80,000 plus babies a year so come on Linda start a petition to get them stamped. Did you know the European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for failing to deal with air pollution? The EU say that levels of Nitrogen Dioxide mainly from car engines are excessive in many British cities. The EU states this gas can lead to major respiratory illnesses and premature deaths. Britain was supposed to meet EU limits by 2010 so where do we go for payment of the fine? Back to the smokers.

Malcolm Pepper

food banks

We need a real solution to welfare

Having read your article about the fantastic work that is done at Todmorden Food Drop-in, I am writing to pick up the challenge laid down by Janet Garner to make a stand for hungry people. Having volunteered for the food drop in and having previously worked for Child Poverty Action Group, issues of poverty and low wages are hugely important to me.
The work done by food banks such as the one in Todmorden is fantastic but it is a sticking plaster, not a solution or a welfare policy. It is a sad fact that 67 per cent of children in poverty have at least one parent in work and the average family in Yorkshire is over £1800 worse off because of the coalition’s cost-of-living crisis with prices continuing to rise faster than wages.
Of course those who can work should work, but the vast majority of those who are unemployed find themselves out of work because there aren’t the jobs there. We need sustainable economic growth which benefits people here in Calder Valley rather than just London bankers, with local businesses encouraged to follow Calderdale Council’s lead in becoming Living Wage employers.

Josh Fenton-Glynn

Labour Parliamentary 
Candidate for Calder Valley


Don’t make allotment holders pay

Re: the controversy over Godfrey Road allotments and car parking.

Why should allotment holders be penalised for the bad planning of the NHS?

It was obvious to anyone with even a grain of common sense that this situation would arise, closing two hospitals and selling them off for building was very shortsighted.

The Northowram site would have been ideal for nursing and residential care for the elderly, in lovely grounds. The Infirmary could have provided much needed office space for management, District Nurses, Health Visitors etc, instead of renting space all over town at great cost, and could have been used for car parking with a shuttle service to CRH.

The Doctors’ home in Stafford Road has just been sold by the authority for building. It would have made a perfect staff car park and/or offices. From all this, it seems they are left in a pickle, owning very little.

The benefactors of RHI must be spinning in their graves!

B. Greenwood (Mrs)

Skircoat Green


Out in the gales to
fix power

I would like to thank the people who on the evening of Wednesday February 12 went out in the terrible weather to re-connect our electricity power supply.

I don’t know what caused the breakdown that left us all in pitch black darkness for three and a half hours but many thanks to the people who fixed it.

S Jowett


Sowerby Bridge