As the consultation on the future of Glenfield Children’s Heart Centre draws to a close (ending on July 17), NHS England continue to avoid the public — the very people they are supposed to be consulting!
The Save Glenfield Heart Centre campaign encourages everyone possible to engage with the consultation (help can be found here: https://goo.gl/cGmdJN ).
But for those who have been excluded from the NHS England’s so-called “public” meetings, we hope that you will write letters/emails to NHS England, complaining about the farce that they call a public consultation.
The following is an email which was sent by a member of the Save Glenfield committee. We hope that it inspires you to do the same.
Complaints can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear NHS England
I will be attending the meeting in Leicester on Saturday 1st July. I will be attending with my son who has CHD.
Can I register my extreme anger at the incredibly short notice given for this meeting.
We have been given just one week to advertise and make the public aware of this meeting.
I have felt from the beginning that NHSE are merely paying lip service to this public consultation, for a number of reasons. This feeling has been heavily reinforced by the so called public meetings.
The East Midlands is going to be the region most affected by the closure of the Glenfield, but the public meetings have been minimal, limited to ridiculously small numbers, at times when people cannot attend or arranged at such short notice that it is impossible to let those who would want to attend, know.
Please do not use purdah (the pre-election period in the UK, during which civil servants are not allowed to campaign) as an excuse.
You would have been aware, like everyone else, exactly when purdah ended. You had six weeks to arrange all these meetings which could then have been announced immediately when purdah ended.
At least then we would have had three weeks , rather than just the one week, to publicise the event.
I cannot see that how these can be described as public meetings if you seem to be going to such lengths to exclude the public.
Additionally, I think it is very duplicitous of you to describe the Leicestershire and Rutland Health Overview Scrutiny Committee meeting in Leicester next week as a public meeting.
It is not. It is a council meeting, arranged by the council, where NHSE has been asked to attend. The public can go in and may be allowed to ask questions/make statements, but it is by no means a ‘public’ meeting.