Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Politics: Conservative campaign letters spark hospital row

A Conservative MP and parliamentary candidate have been accused of sending out inconsistent messages about proposals to downgrade A&E services in Halifax.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker sent a campaign leaflet to his constituents claiming that there are no proposals on the table to close Calderdale Royal Hospital’s A&E department - despite documents published by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust which suggest the contrary.

Halifax parliamentary candidate Philip Allott has sent out a leaflet to Halifax residents suggesting that the proposals to close the A&E have been ‘scrapped’ - a message at odds with the claims of his Calder Valley counterpart.

Both Mr Whittaker and Mr Allott have been accused of sending out misleading and inaccurate material by members of both the Labour and Green parties.

Linda Riordan, Labour MP for Halifax, said: “The Tory campaigns in Halifax and Calder Valley are now in total disarray - they are so out of touch they didn’t even realise our A&E is under threat.

“The facts are simple. The Tory Government wants to close our A & E and if they get re-elected in May that is what will happen.

“Any other pretence, any other lamentable letter, is a complete sideshow. The campaign continues to save our A & E and save our NHS from these terrible Tory cuts.”

Mr Allott said: “The CCG have made it clear that they won’t be consulting on the Outline Business Case report - therefore we cannot say that the original proposals put forward by the Trust are still in place, because they are not.

“The CCG have called for the Trust to rewrite the document - this could take some time - so the immediate threat the A&E has been seen off.”

The chair of Calderdale CCG said the Outline Business Case is a ‘work-in-progress’.

Mr Whittaker has not yet responded to calls.

Follow: HxCourierJon

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