Kirklees MPs unite over threats to local A&E departments

Jo Cox speaking in the HRI debateJo Cox yesterday joined Kirklees’s other three MPs to debate the proposals to close the A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and the consequences this will have across Kirklees.

In particular she raised the implications for her constituents in Batley & Spen.

The debate in Parliament, which you can watch here, was secured by Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney and included contributions from Dewsbury’s Paula Sherriff and Huddersfield’s Barry Sheerman.

Mrs Cox said: “The proposed reorganisation, which would leave Huddersfield without an A&E, is being done under the rationale that there will be no change of provision in the other half of Kirklees district.

“However, the diminution of services at Dewsbury & District hospital, which sits within my constituency, is a significant change—not least for the A&E, which is a key service for local constituents in neighbouring Dewsbury and elsewhere.”

She said this was an ’embarrassing oversight’ with the potential to leave the eleventh largest district in England without a fully functioning A&E and that this was not in the public interest.

Mrs Cox went on to add: “It seems as though there is a lack of regional oversight about the implications of both this public consultation and what is happening at Dewsbury & District hospital.

“We have raised that issue directly with the Minister, and I raised it with the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust last Friday to ask who holds responsibility for the pan-Kirklees, pan-Yorkshire, strategy, to make sure that none of our constituents loses out from these individual public consultations and reconfigurations. It would be very helpful if the Minister focused on that oversight.”

The Batley & Spen MP also raised the lack of a coherent, integrated transport assessment of all the reconfigurations across Kirklees.

“Many of our constituents are on low incomes and rely on public transport. With congested roads, moving people around is not easy. I am not reassured that either trust has looked fully at the transport implications of these reorganisations and what they will mean for our constituents.”

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