A HEALTH consultation has been branded shambolic by a campaigner.

Gill George, chairman of Oswestry Defend Our NHS, spoke out after Dr Julian Povey, Shropshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman, said that Future Fit consultation pop-up events were "not for face-to-face questions".

She said: "“I think it’s quite shocking. The events have been advertised as ‘find out the facts about Future Fit. I think what they have been trying to do with this consultation is tick a box.

“This is not a serious consultation, it’s been shambolic and is shaping up to be a complete sham.”

Dr Povey called on members of the public to “respect the process” of the consultation into creating one emergency department for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin following an alleged outburst by campaigners at a pop-up event held in the Park Lane Community Centre.

It led to a second pop-up event in Stirchley in the afternoon being cancelled.

Dr Povey said: “It was quite disappointing that the pop-up event was disrupted by demonstrators and protestors and had to be cut short.

“These events are not there for the public to ask face-to-face questions – they are there to signpost people to the website.”

Dr Povey added the event was manned by “junior” members of staff who felt “intimidated”.

He said: “We would ask the wider members of the public to respect the process and the job these people are trying to do.

“Everyone is welcome to these events.”

There are expected to be around 70 pop-up events across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin throughout during the consultation, which runs until the beginning of September.

Ms George said that a "smear campaign" had been launched against the group and that Shropshire Defend Our NHS would mount a formal complaint.

She said that one of its members had simply asked why consultation events had not been held at the right place and time.

There was no aggression or confrontation from the group members, and that a consultation event staff member had been rude to one of the group before shouting at the campaign group member outside while they were handing out leaflets.

Dr Povey added there would be a review halfway through the consultation which will look at responses and also if more events were required.

Dr Simon Freeman, accountable officer of NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We completely refute claims made in the media about the behaviour of our pop-up event staff.

"All staff at our events have behaved and continue to behave in a professional manner.

“The safety and security of our staff and anyone working with us is our priority, and we continue to expect that they and staff at any venue are treated respectfully.

"We have always been clear that the purpose of the pop-up events is to raise awareness of the consultation, hand out our materials and survey and signpost people to our website and public events.

“To have the opportunity to discuss the proposals with us, we are encouraging people to attend other meetings throughout the consultation, including one of our public exhibition events.

"People can drop into these events any time from 3.30pm to 7.30pm to speak to doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff, find out more and have their say.”