HRI Campaign Snubbed by Health Secretary

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP “unable at present” to visit HRI and refuses to meet campaigners in Westminster.

The Health Secretary has responded to a letter, sent by Colne Valley’s MP Thelma Walker inviting him to visit the HRI to meet staff and campaigners prior to making a decision about the potential downgrading of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Thelma Walker invited Mr Hunt to visit the HRI after the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee of Kirklees and Calderdale Councils voted to refer the decision about the downgrading to the Health Secretary. You can read that letter in full here – Letter – Jeremy Hunt invitation to visit HRI.

Thelma has now received a response from the Department of Health. This email said that Mr Hunt was currently touring hospitals across the country but could not guarantee when or indeed if, he would visit. The letter went on to say that “due to his already hectic diary commitments” he would not be able to meet with constituents in Westminster.

Speaking after receiving the emailed letter, Thelma Walker said “I am disappointed that the Health Secretary does not appear to care about the people of the Colne and Holme Valleys or Huddersfield.

The plans were referred to him, because the JHSC decided it was an inappropriate decision made by the Trust and CCG’s to downgrade our hospital. Mr Hunt will be unable to make a full and proper assessment of why Huddersfield Royal Infirmary is a vital lifeline for our communities. Nor will he be able to understand the unique geography of the area.”

Thelma added, “This is a blatant disregard for local communities needs and wishes. It shows he is not concerned about the safety of our families, and once again we see a Minister in this Government who refuses to leave their desk in Westminster to actually engage with local people.

This isn’t the last Mr Hunt will hear from me or my constituents, and I will do everything in my power to try and secure a meeting with Mr Hunt and local people.”

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