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Readers told: Stand up and be counted

PUBLISHED: 16:38 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:28 25 August 2010

A DISMAL response to a health consultation has sparked fears that the community s views will be left unheard.

A DISMAL response to a health consultation has sparked fears that the community's views will be left unheard.

Less than one per cent of residents have responded to A Picture of Health's consultation about changes to Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup and University Hospital, Lewisham.

Despite approximately 2,000 people marching the streets against health cuts, just 6,000 have taken part in the consultation.

But more than 40 per cent of the respondents come from Bexley, showing that those who stand to lose their A&E and maternity unit are the most vocal.

The Times urges people to respond to the questionnaire to show the health chief bosses, if they have already made up their minds to go ahead with the cuts, they better change them.

Forty two per cent of respondents so far, are from Bexley, 21 per cent from Bromley, 18 per cent from Lewisham, 10 per cent from Greenwich and nine per cent were from different areas, including Darent Valley, Croydon and Southwark.

Bexley councillor Sharon Massey said: "Nearly 50 per cent of the respondents have been from Bexley. It shows the ones that stand to lose the most, are responding.

"It is disappointing that few have responded. It is because those are the few who understand what they had through their front door.

"I beg residents to respond. Let's say 50 per cent of respondents from Bexley say they don't want the proposals, as a matter of common decency, they have to listen.

"I am just asking everybody I know to fill it in.

"More than one per cent of residents are concerned about these proposals."

Despite low response rate, A Picture of Health spokesperson said: "These early indications of response rates are encouraging."

The consultation opened on January 7 and closes on the April 11.

To respond to the questionnaire visit www.apictureofhealth.nhs.uk or call 0800 321 3579.

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