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New health deal for Trafford consultation should be extended, claim councillors
7:30am Thursday 27th September 2012 in News
LABOUR councillors in Sale are calling for an extension to the consultation on the proposed major changes to Trafford's health service.
The councillors are angry that some homes in the M33 and M41 postcodes - taking in areas of Sale and Flixton and Urmston respectively - have not yet received a copy of the New Health Deal for Trafford consultation document.
The document allows residents the chance to have their say on the plans, which include major changes at Trafford General Hospital - including turning its A & E department into an urgent care centre.
Now councillors in Priory and Sale Moor wards, supported by Councillor Denise Western whose Broadheath ward covers parts of the M33 postcode, have called for the consultation to be extended beyond its October 31 deadline.
At a consultation event held in Sale on September 20, Priory councillor Andrew Western challenged health bosses to extend the consultation period so that all residents have a chance to respond.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Western said: "It is absolutely unacceptable that some residents in Sale have not received this document through the post. We were promised this would happen, and now health bosses have no idea who has received the form and who hasn't.
"This is the biggest change to the local health service in years and it's crucial that everybody has the chance to have their say. That's just not happening at moment: it's a postcode lottery with many residents in Sale missing out. That's simply not good enough and the very least that should happen is that the consultation is extended and the form sent out again."
A spokesman for the NHS said “The NHS is committed to engaging with Trafford residents throughout the consultation period.
“Every effort is being made to enable local people to have equal access to the consultation documentation, so that thoughts and views on the proposal can be shared with the NHS in Trafford.
“The consultation materials are also available online via the dedicated consultation website, providing residents with the option to have their say electronically via the consultation survey from any smart phone, or internet-aided device.
“Any residents who have not received a copy of the document can contact us to request one by calling 0161 873 6048 or emailing email@example.com Hard copies of the document can also be picked up from the local libraries and at the public meetings. The documents and online consultation questionnaire can also be access via the dedicated website www.healthdeal.trafford.nhs.uk ”