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Residents say health survey is a fiasco’

PUBLISHED: 15:22 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:29 01 July 2010

CONFUSED residents have been calling councillors to help them fill out their health questionnaires, writes Marina Soteriou. Scores of families have lodged complaints with their councillors

CONFUSED residents have been calling councillors to help them fill out their health questionnaires, writes Marina Soteriou.

Scores of families have lodged complaints with their councillors claiming that the health consultation delivered last week-end is 'designed to confuse people'.

Despite a Picture of Health's £1 million budget for this year, Bexley council may be forced to issue their own booklet to assist their residents.

Councillor Sharon Massey said: "I had about 30 calls at the weekend, every time I put the phone down, it rang. People were asking 'how should I fill it in?'

"People do not want to tick the box but write 'I want to retain this service'.

"It is confusing people. People are saying they are just leaving it on the side.

"They just don't understand it.

"I want people to battle through it. Tell them we don't want our service cut."

The questionnaires and booklet were delivered last Saturday in Bexley, Greenwich, Bromley, Lewisham and parts of West Kent and Southwark.

Only one is being delivered per household but they can be downloaded at http://www.citizenspace.com/apictureofhealth

Councillor June Slaughterhouse said: "It is designed to ensure the answers given, are the answers the Primary Care Trusts have decided to do already.

"There is nowhere that says we want to go to Queen Mary's Hospital, that is close to us."

Councillor Massey added: "Every weekend we have been going out, letting people know this is going on, to make sure they understand the information.

"I don't want to scaremonger people. I want as many people to fill out a questionnaire as possible."

Bexley council are having a strategy meeting today (January 24) to decide on the next step.

A Picture of Health is paid for by the four Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) for Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham.

A spokesperson for A Picture of Health said: "We have tried to present the proposals as clearly as possible in the document, and have also arranged a series of public meetings where you can discuss the proposed options face-to-face with senior clinicians, plus a hotline number which is 0800 321 3579 - for people to ask questions."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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