NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have released a statement in response to the criticism received regarding the format of their public consultation meetings.

This comes after a number of Oswestry residents were left disgruntled at last week’s Future Fit consultation, when the CCG representatives left the meeting before hearing the thoughts of Gill George of Defend our NHS.

Those in attendance explained that they had hoped the CCG representatives would stay and discuss matters by concluding the event after Gill George had spoken.

The CCG’s statement claims however, that the meeting was always going to take place the way in which it did, and that every consultation they attend is carried out in the same format.

Dr Simon Freeman, Accountable Officer at NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “We are committed to giving local people every opportunity to have their say on the Future Fit proposals and ask their questions to clinicians and representatives of the CCGs.

“We are holding a variety of public events to ensure everyone has fair and equal access over the consultation period and also attending meetings we are invited to, including those organised by Councillors.

“We aim to adopt the same approach to the meetings we are invited to in order to provide an equitable approach across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales.

“Events therefore have a structured format to ensure that they are as beneficial as possible for local people to find out more about the proposed changes to health services.

“I can confirm that the recent Oswestry Town Council meeting began with the Chair explaining the format to everyone attending and at what time health staff would be leaving.

“We are in regular contact with the small number of campaign groups across the area and continue to have a regular dialogue with all of them. It’s important that everyone tells us what they think about the proposals and I would urge local people to attend one of our events to find out more.”