Prince Philip Hospital campaigners suspicious of final consultation report from Hywel Dda
HOSPITAL campaigners have said they are unhappy about the way research was carried out for a final report into a consultation on services in the Hywel Dda area.
Sosppan, who opposed the downgrading of A&E services in Llanelli, have spoken of their disappointment at the omission of a petition they handed to the Welsh Government, in the final consultation report.
Tony Flatley, a member of the group, said: "I am very unhappy about the way the research by ORS (Opinion Research Services) Swansea has been carried out.
"Firstly, there is the omission of the biggest petition ever handed into the Assembly.
"They told us we were outside time limits, but when this petition started we found nothing about time limits.
"However, after the petition was handed in, the Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee called the chief executive of Hywel Dda, Trevor Purt, before them to answer why a petition this size had been handed in against them. In doing this the petition became part of the consultation process.
"Hywel Dda Health board knew this was to handed directly to the Assembly and made no comment about it going directly to ORS."
During a presentation to the board on Tuesday, Dale Hall, of ORS, told members that different types of consultation were taken into account, including household surveys, questionnaires and meetings with focus groups.
He said: "Consultations are not referendums. We look to see what is generally representative of the public."
He said the household surveys, which he described as "more representative" of the community, showed overall support for the proposals for emergency services, despite "vociferous local opposition" in Llanelli.
A Hywel Dda spokeswoman said two engagement sessions took place — the first of listening and engagement running from December 2011 to April 2012.
She said in response to that, Sosppan submitted a petition in May 2012, but because it was not during the formal consultation between August 6 and October 29, 2012, it was not included.
A letter sent by the group during consultation was recorded.