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Save Our NHS Leicestershire

“I can’t understand why decisions regarding future health care provision are being undertaken during a national lockdown”

By Satinder Toor
November 14, 2020
St Mary’s Birth Centre in Melton will be closed if the local NHS Trust’s plans go ahead

I recently tried to participate in an on-line meeting regarding the future of Maternity services in Leicester, which may lead to the closure of St Mary’s Birth Centre in Melton Mowbray.

I made several unsuccessful attempts to log into the Microsoft Teams event.

Initially, the app I had installed previously, required an update, and then the Microsoft account details kept defaulting to a terminated work email address which then kept throwing up errors.

I downloaded the on-line help sheet, but, by now I had already missed over 15 minutes of the meeting and had given up in frustration.

I can’t understand why decisions regarding future health care provision are being undertaken during a national lockdown and in unprecedented times.

Surely, we should wait until things have settled, so we can take stock, of not only the demands that potential pandemics could place on our NHS and how best to factor this into future healthcare strategy (something that isn’t mentioned at all in the pre-consultation business case).

But, just as importantly, allow us to attend public meetings in person, bringing the public and communities together to raise concerns and to fully engage with each other to understand the impact of changes that are being proposed.

Or you could have what I experienced – missing out on my opportunity to participate in the only consultation meeting dedicated to maternity services that affect me and my county, because the app didn’t work.

I’m in my early 40s and consider myself to be fairly computer literate.

I am concerned that there may be many people, from an older demographic, who would want to engage in this consultation, but, possibly because they are less familiar with PCs/video conferencing apps, they won’t be able to participate and based on these grounds, the consultation could reasonably be called discriminatory.