Meetings on fate of hospitals were not consultation says BSBV team
Despite a whole series of meetings with GPs and politicians, in the run-up to a major meeting with stakeholders about the future of Epsom Hospital last week, consultations have yet to begin according to the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review team.
On January 16, we reported on a "consultation meeting" held the previous evening at Epsom Downs Racecourse, by the BSBV team, to consult with key stakeholders as to what the BSBV review could mean for Epsom.
The two-and-a-half-hour meeting was run by an independent research organisation, and involved around 100 people including representatives from patient groups, local authorities and the voluntary sector, who had been invited to listen to presentations and participate in discussions with GP commissioners from London and Surrey.
Epsom Hospital campaigner Rosemary Najim, said she was impressed by the way the meeting was run and stakeholders consulted.
She said: "They twice broke for table discussions with stakeholders, taking down comments from the discussions and passing the microphone round to each table so people could ask questions.
"They took written questions from those who didn’t have a chance to ask their questions."
But a BSBV spokesman contacted the Epsom Guardian to clarify that the event was not a "consultation" event at which any proposals regarding acute services at Epsom, St Helier, Croydon, Kingston or St George's hospitals were considered.
He said: "We're not in the consultation period now.
"We are certainly talking to local people, but the public consultation, which would last three months, is not due to start until spring or early summer.
"At that stage, we would have formal proposals for what we think would go on each hospital site.
"There would be a formal consultation document and a process in place for people to respond to our proposals. We're not at that point yet and no proposals are agreed.
"We would best describe [the event] as talking to people about the review before we have agreed any formal proposals, which is considered to be best practice - it is usually called pre-consultation engagement."