Health chiefs in Oxfordshire have been criticised for how the consultation on changes to NHS services in the county has been run.
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has organised several meetings to hear residents’ views on a huge reorganisation of the county’s health services that includes a downgrade of the Horton.
Speaking at Thursday’s joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, on behalf of Horton supporter, Val Ingram, Chrissie Ansell criticised the trust for holding some meetings during the day when people were working, and called for the consultation on phase one to be halted and for both phases to be consulted on together.
Clive Hill, member of Chipping Norton Hospital Action Group, said the meeting for Chipping Norton was scheduled to be held on February 2, on the same day as the HOSC meeting, at a time when people would be at work or picking up their children from school.
He said: “People think it is a complete farce, a tick box process designed to minimise participation.
“Chipping Norton has been sidelined. No one expects to get a fair hearing or a sensible decision.”
David Smith, STP lead and chief executive of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said meetings were not the only way to respond to the consultation and people could use the website at www.oxonhealthcaretransformation.nhs.uk.
He said proposals for phase two of the consultation, which involves changes to the county’s A&E departments and children’s services and community hospitals, were still being developed.
But, he added, they were still willing to hear the public’s thoughts on phase two issues if they wanted to raise them during the current round of meetings.