I have returned from a very interesting and enlightening meeting held at North Bridge Leisure Centre aimed at preventing the closure of Calderdale’s A & E Department. Having arrived early in anticipation of the meeting being over-subscribed, I was disappointed with the turn-out of people from Halifax. The panel seemed to be pleased at the numbers, but the hall was less than half full. Noticeable absences seemed to be from the council – apart from the tremendous support from the Labour contingent – and any clinicians belonging to the Foundation Trust. The panel and members of the audience who spoke, were very eloquent in what they had to say and several people had personal experiences to relate which illustrated all too well the outcome if they hadn’t received treatment in time.
How can it be justified on the grounds of savings, that we lose this very vital service and have to travel to Lindley to receive emergency treatment? Timing is crucial to survival and recovery from a heart attack or stroke as described by more than one attending this important meeting. I have no personal worries about reaching the Huddersfield Hospital quickly, as living in Norland the journey would be little different from having to get to Calderdale Royal. However for people living in Todmorden, or its outskirts, the journey could prove horrendous (or fatal). If people in Halifax are interested in keeping this life-saving facility in Halifax, please join the campaign, sign the petitions, march with the people, write to your MP. The proposals involve not just our A & E Department, but reducing the number of beds available here to 87.
If we just roll over, there are no guarantees that the Huddersfield position will be maintained. How would it be if we all had to travel to Leeds? This isn’t just about Calderdale. Residents of Kirklees are going to be affected also as extra pressure would be put on their already busy A & E. Please, work together to prevent these disastrous changes to our wonderful NHS service.