Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Picture of Health

I received the consultation form for A Picture of Health the other day. I haven't had the chance to read it fully but on the face of it, what is being proposed is worrying.

What is more worrying is understanding how public consultations really work. In my experience, those making the consultation already have in their minds their preferred option and are looking for responses that back that up.

A Picture of Health tends to lead us down that route - the options for 3 of the 4 hospitals having already been decided, leaving us with a consultation on what to do with Lewisham hospital. Quite what people on the outskirts of Bexley, Bromley and West Kent care about that I'm not sure, but they too are consulted.

If what appears to be the preferred option for Lewisham is chosen, then surely the new Riverside building will have been the biggest waste of money ever. It already has a completely empty floor which can't be used because of some nonsense in the PFI contract (as I understand it, don't quote me on that!), at this rate the rest of the hospital will be empty too. Pitiful.

I do hope to respond to the consultation once I've had chance to properly digest the proposals, and may well post my response here for all to see (should they be interested...)