LETTER: ‘Organised’ is an exaggeration

The meeting organised by the Cambridgeshire Commissioning Group (CCG) Thursday on August 25 was a joke, or it would have been had the implications not been so serious. When I use the term organised I am somewhat exaggerating because organised it wasn’t.

Floods of interested members of the public were refused entry because the venue was too small. I demanded to speak to the person organising the meeting who told me “this was the largest venue we could find at short notice. Why short notice? Had this meeting not been planned for weeks, even months, in advance? The meeting was an important component in the vital process of understanding the needs and preferences of the community in Wisbech. Surely the CCG could have used their established contacts with health providers in town to find a venue, (at the other end of Queens Road the Queen Mary centre can hold 500 as can the Theatre at the Thomas Clarkson Academy) which could accommodate the expected flood of those seeking information about what is happening to their health provisions and more importantly what is likely to happen in the future.

By making a fuss and being very insistent I manage to gain admittance.

What of the meeting? This was after all a communications exercise and those present needed to see and hear all that was going on.

Well the screen was too small and the text could only be read by those in the six front rows. The slides themselves were simply copies of internal document intended to be read from an A4 sheet. Very lazy! There was no effort to expand pages of crowded text into single slides with large text that could be read by all at the meeting.

This would also have focused discussions on each particular option in turn so that people could fully understand that option. The sound system was inadequate since the microphones which were passed to questioners were difficult to operate by those unused to such technology and so the questions could not be heard.

There were I understand more than one hundred people turned away at the door and many more who didn’t make even that far having discovered from those they met in the street, that they wouldn’t be allowed in.

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It is worrying that the CCG, on whom the future of health provision in Wisbech depends, show themselves to be totally incapable of organised a single public meeting. They are totally out of touch with the communities they are supposed to serve. This does not bode well for the future.

There was however one ray of hope. The chief executive of the CCG, Tracy Dowling really knew her stuff. She listened attentively to questions and was erudite and clear with her answers.

Thank you Tracy.