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Consulting without….errr consulting

I confess this slipped past the eagle eyed guardians of Leveller Towers. Last week on 21st February (and the date is important) Fit for my Future announced a consultation. Fit for my Future is a joint programme between NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset County Council, is reviewing how and where health and care will be delivered across the county in future.

The consultation invited Somerset residents to have their say on the criteria that the Fit for my Future programme should use. For instance ease of access to services, transport and travel times for patients, visitors and carers, patient outcomes and experience and ensuring equal access and treatment for all.

A number of focus groups have already taken place with residents and staff but now the exercise is opened out to members of the public in general.

Except that it really isn’t. The consultation runs for barely a week. It closes on 3rd March and as it is at short notice and for so short a period, in practice can only be done online. Which already rules out the concept of equal access to all, at least as far as the survey goes!

We can only apologise that we picked up on this 4 days after the press release. But really can this be seen as a sincere attempt to consult?

If you do want to complete the survey online at https://response.questback.com/isa/qbv.dll/ShowQuest?QuestID=5316326&sid=VlEoFepTy0 by Sunday, 3 March at 11pm, stating whether you agree or disagree with the list of potential criteria and tell us whether you consider any are missing.

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