CONSULTATION on cutting some hospital services is rigged to give health chiefs the answers they want, a Mirfield resident has claimed.
Margaret Chamberlain, of Park Drive, feels a questionnaire is worded in a way that makes changes at Dewsbury District Hospital more likely.
The retired former civil service procurement officer is one of thousands of people who have received the â€˜Meeting the Challengeâ€™ booklet. Dewsbury District Hospital may have its A&E and maternity units downgraded under plans proposed by the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The questionnaire, which is also available online, asks people to rate various statements as either â€˜very importantâ€™, â€˜fairly importantâ€™, â€˜not very importantâ€™ or â€˜not at all importantâ€™.
Among the criteria participants are asked to assess are:
Getting the best results from your treatment;
Knowing that services are safe;
Hospitals working as efficiently as possible.
Mrs Chamberlain said: â€œI think the questionnaireâ€™s biased. From reading it, Iâ€™d say itâ€™s been designed to give the trust the answers it wants.
â€œEverybodyâ€™s going to answer â€˜very importantâ€™ to just about everything. Who would say they donâ€™t want good care or would prefer inefficient hospitals?â€
She added the booklet has little information about the downgrading and said: â€œItâ€™s A5 in size and thereâ€™s lots of nice glossy photos.
â€œBut thereâ€™s no detail. I think itâ€™s very superficial. A lot of people reading it might not know whatâ€™s being proposed.â€
For more details on the plans and how they might affect you, see www.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â meetingthechallenge.co.uk.