Asking questions of the Epsom-St Helier Trust, Part I
Yesterday, we informed the public that the Epsom-St Helier Trust's Estates Review document is not a benign document about mere bricks and mortar. It is about the very future of our local hospitals.
KOSHH campaigners are systematically going through the document and we have already started asking questions of the trust via our Twitter account about the review, the consultation process and how it will be publicised. We are disappointed that our local MPs and councillors are not publicly scrutinising the Estates Review or asking questions of the trust on behalf of the people who use Epsom and St Helier's NHS hospitals.
Today, multiple campaigners have asked the trust questions about the online questionnaire process attached to the Estates Review and how widely this will be publicised.
The trust confirmed yesterday that the online questionnaire would be open until September 30. Here are some more questions from KOSHH campaigners and answers from the Epsom-St Helier Trust from today:
Q: Can you tell me the purpose of seeking views on the estates document? What is the objective?
A: Simply to find out what local people want from hospital buildings and facilities in the future.
This answer doesn't really tell us much. Surely local people want to continue to receive healthcare services from hospital buildings and facilities and for these buildings and facilities to be properly maintained so they are hygienic and safe?
So we asked another question...
Q: That's *what* you intend to discover. My question is why? For what purpose?
A: Do you think it might be best to have a conversation about this? We can organise a chat with one of our execs. Easier for you and us to share info that way!
We are finding it perfectly easy to ask questions via social media. We like the open forum, we like that the public can see the answers as we receive them. We will continue to ask questions about the Estates Review publicly in the interests of transparency.
The Epsom-St Helier Trust has expressed reservations about answering our questions via the 140-character format of Twitter. We agree that this has its limitations. With that in mind, we invite the trust to use the comments section of this blog if they would like to answer our concerns with more than 140 characters. This blog is set up so anyone from anywhere in the world can comment.
KOSHH campaigners are deeply concerned about how widely publicised the Estates Review and the online questionnaire will be. We are quite sure that very few members of the wider public are aware of this review or that they can download the document and give their feedback to the trust. As such, we asked the following questions:
Q: Will you make the general public aware of this questionnaire about their local hospital? Do you want a wide response to the questions? Will you publicise it?
A: We'd love a wide response! Have asked GPs, councils, Healthwatch and community groups to take part.
Q: What about people outside of those groups?
A: We've been promoting it on the web, Twitter, public meetings and leaflet will be with us shortly!
As yet, we have not received a direct answer from the trust on these questions:
Q: What will be done with the information garnered via the online questionnaire?
Q: In regard to the promised leaflets, how will they be distributed? Mailed out to all residents?
As soon as we have responses to these questions, we will share them via Twitter, Facebook and this blog. Spokespeople for the Epsom-St Helier Trust are more than welcome to respond to these questions in the comments section of this blog post.
We look forward to getting more answers as we carefully analyse the Estates Review document and we will share the answers as we receive them.
Photography by Charles Rondeau