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Don't ask the public... they may disagree

PUBLISHED: 14:51 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 25 August 2010

PUBLIC consultations can be rather a lot of trouble - delivering leaflets, late night public meetings... goodness knows they can be an absolute bore!

PUBLIC 'consultations' can be rather a lot of trouble - delivering leaflets, late night public meetings... goodness knows they can be an absolute bore!

Thankfully for the NHS, top health service brass are not going to bother with this unnecessary process before they try to merge hospital trusts in south-east London.

Instead of a consultation, 'patient feedback groups' are being organised to see whether the move is likely to provoke pitchfork-wielding mobs to take to the streets.

However, the feedback groups will not be given any information from people who actually work for the trusts.

Instead, a series of questions will be put to patient representatives by an 'independent facilitator'.

Furthermore, these meetings will be private, away from the annoying scrutiny of campaigners and journalists.

Apparently there will be public meetings held later in the month, but Times Diary suspects that, like the plan to close Queen Mary's Hospital A&E in Sidcup, this merger will be going ahead regardless of public opinion.

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