Health bosses face the music

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:26 25 August 2010


March through Sidcup against cuts at St Marys Hospital , Sidcup 

Marina , reporter has all names 

Ref:  Pictures by  Andy Barnes

Date:01.03.08 March through Sidcup against cuts at St Marys Hospital , Sidcup Marina , reporter has all names Ref: Pictures by Andy Barnes

Kentish Times

WE asked you to put your questions directly to A Picture of Health chiefs to grill them about proposals to downgrade A&E and maternity services in your area.

WE asked you to put your questions directly to A Picture of Health chiefs to grill them about proposals to downgrade A&E and maternity services in your area.

Your campaigning Times gave you the exclusive chance to have your specific questions answered directly. Below is a selection of questions about the consultation that you wanted answering.

Janet Hill from Sidcup branded the consultation a 'con' claiming that the online questionnaire only allows respondents to put in answers that health bosses want to hear.

She added: "I have been told the foundations of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich are not sound, plus neither the Woolwich or Farnborough have space for expansion. Both hospitals are having trouble coping with there present patients.

The QEH has already had to send patients for A&E to Queen Mary's recently. None of the proposals make sense unless you realise how much they will make by selling the property in Sidcup."

A spokesman for A Picture of Health denied that A&E patients are diverted from Queen Elizabeth or that Queen Mary's is to be sold, adding: "Everybody is able to express their views as they wish in the questionnaire and there are spaces to make comments separate from the multiple choice questions, and say exactly what you want.

"It allows anyone to enter commentary and you can either choose a response from those offered or choose 'No Answer'. All comments will be taken into account.

"Some subsidence was identified outside the Queen Elizabeth A&E department and an administration block. Underpinning works to fix the problem were completed at the A&E one year ago and will soon be finished at the administration block. This work was identified and dealt with by the PFI partner.

"Both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, will have extra capacity to take on more specialist work because planned/elective and outpatient services will be moved elsewhere."

I would very much like to respond to the NHS reorganisation issue but it seems the people of Orpington and friends from Chislehurst have not yet had the consultation booklet. I had heard that we should have had received do them by the end of January. Where are they?

Rosemary Weight

Masefield View, Orpington

A spokesman for A Picture of Health said: "Our original document distribution was in late January. We have received a number of reports from Orpington of non-delivery of our public consultation document. We are re-delivering 11,526 further copies in Orpington and Petts Wood and this should be completed by the end of this week."

I work in a large office in Sidcup, and I only know of one person there who has received the Picture of Health questionnaire. Have the powers that be decided not to send these out to local residents, so that they can subsequently claim that because there was a very poor response, people don't care about services being removed from Queen Mary's Hospital?

Mrs Sandy Pease

A spokesman for A Picture of Health said: "This is a very mistaken assertion indeed. We can assure Mrs Pease we have distributed our public consultation document, with the questionnaire, extensively throughout Bexley using the same distribution lists as the council. If Mrs Pease and her colleagues ring us on our 24-hour freephone number and leave their details we will send them further copies. The number is 0800 321 3579. Early indications confirm we are receiving a very high response rate from Bexley residents."

Has a fourth option been submitted to you? If so, what is it and will you

consider it?

Janet Anderson


A Picture of Health said: "As far as we know, no fourth option has been submitted yet. All public responses, including questionnaires, go straight to our independent analysts Imperial College. They will be reporting to us in full and publicly after the consultation closes, and if any alternative or additional Options are submitted they will report on those and we will definitely consider them."

Convinced? Tell us what you think at:

Keep reading your campaigning Times to get more of your questions answered. Next week, your questions on the proposed changes to your hospitals.


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