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Labour MP slams ‘Halifax NHS chiefs’ for PFI deal his own party signed off

by jamesbaker on 22 January, 2016

According to reports on the Huddersfield Examiner the Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman has blammed the problems facing our local health services on the awful PFI contract that ‘Health chiefs in Halifax got into’.

Mr Sheerman and his colleague, Colne Valley’s Jason McCartney, have both insisted the move is to shore up the controversial Private Finance Initiative which funded the Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Mr Sheerman said: “Health chiefs in Halifax got into serious debt and negotiated a very poor PFI contract to secure the new hospital.

“In Huddersfield we had a very well-run health and hospital service but we were persuaded to merge with Calderdale.

“Now we are being told by the Clinical Commissioning groups that because of that PFI we will have to make the move and send all our people to Halifax for care.

“It makes me furious and I am sure it will make everyone in the town furious.”

Someone ought to point out to Mr Sheerman it was Alan Milburn who was the Labour health secretary at the time who signed off on the deal. This followed extensive lobbying from the then Labour MP for Halifax Alice Mahon, who was in favour of the plan. It should also be pointed out that Liberal Democrats have been campaigning against this PFI deal for years, as this old press cutting demonstrates. It was the late Stephen Pearson a former Calderdale Councillor and Dr Bob Heys who helped run this campaign. At the time not a single Labour or Conservative Councillor signed the petition opposing the PFI deal.

So we now have a Labour MP in Huddersfield blaming the PFI deal his own party signed off for the threat of Huddersfield A&E department. Meanwhile the Labour party in Calderdale are trying to pin the financial blame for the mess on the last government. Here is text taken from their petition

I condemn the threats to local health services caused by the Tory-Lib Dem government.

I call on NHS decision makers to keep urgent care services like Calderdale’s Walk-In Centres and A&E department open.

Labour need to get their story straight on this mess they are responsible!

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