Former NHS executive Mike Ramsden has asked the Hands Off HRI campaign to focus on the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) chiefs who are responsible for coming up with the proposal to downgrade Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI).
Ramsden was the chairman of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital Trust prior to his retirement. However, he has now joined the Hands Off HRI campaign as chairman. For a long time, he has been extremely critical of the plans related to HRI.
The plan to downgrade HRI, according to Ramsden, rests with the hospital trust and the two CCGs. He emphasised that this plan had nothing to do with the government, and the residents should oppose the decision at a local level.
He also praised Karl Deitch, a security system contractor, who started the campaign. Ramsden was requested by Deitch to chair the campaign because he has in-depth knowledge of how the NHS functions.
While stating that he has no interest in the politics of the matter, Ramsden was more than willing to work alongside MPs to ensure that the downgrading does not occur. Nonetheless, he has been criticised by opponents, who accuse him of working to privatise the NHS. There were posts on social media that claimed he is a director of a private company, Waring Health.
Ramsden explained that the company is a consultancy that trains family doctors in other nations and has just two GPs. He also stated that there are many NHS contractors working for the NHS, and this was not something new; rather, this association with healthcare contractors has been happening for decades.
He said that the NHS has been working with the private sector for years, and even GPs are NHS contractors since they are not directly employed by the NHS. He pointed out that this is a practice that has been going on ever since the NHS was formed in 1948.