A HOSPITAL governor and former Bridport councillor says everyone should be responding to a consultation exercise underway ahead of a shake-up of health services.

The Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is currently holding a series of public drop-in events as part of its Clinical Service Review, which will shape the future of health services in the county.

David Tett, a public governor at Dorset County Hospital, says that with the CCG facing an £8.5million funding shortfall, it is facing challenging times but it is important local people have their say and fight to protect the services they hold dear.

He said: “There is no reason whatsoever why one should not respond to the consultation now being conducted on the Clinical Services Review.

“It is imperative and in ones own interests that you pick up a copy of the consultation document from your local doctors surgery, complete it and send it back to the address stated by February 28 at the very latest.

“The onus is on you to shout now or forever hold your peace.”

Mr Tett said from his personal point of view he had “several reservations” about what was being proposed in the review.

He said: “Firstly, having two acute hospitals next door to each other in the east of the county, leaves less adequate cover for those residents living in the west.

“Secondly, I think the Clinical Commissioning Group is being over optimistic in its travelling times to both Bournemouth and Poole.

“Thirdly, the ambulance service is being stretched to capacity, and there is a prime example of a young footballer with two fractures of the leg having to wait four hours to get to Poole Hospital. Moreover, its own budget will be cut.”

Mr Tett said it would be helpful for local people to understand the proposed changes if the services that will remain and those that will change are clearly explained to the public and the reasons for any change.

Tim Goodson, chief officer at NHS Dorset CCG, said: “We recognise that people have differing views on our proposals which is why we want as many people as possible to fill in the questionnaire and have their say. We would also urge people who have picked up a copy the consultation document ‘Improving Dorset’s Healthcare’ and not returned the questionnaire not to leave it too late to have their say.”

Anyone who would like more information should visit csr.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk where there are a number of short films which explain the proposals for both acute and community services.”