Regarding the Hampshire Together presentation on modernising our hospitals and health services in the Winchester district.

One of the things I sought to do at the meeting was to shine a bright light on the untruths and misleading statements in Liberal Democrat campaign literature distributed by Danny Chambers.

It is hugely unhelpful in this consultation process that the Integrated Care Board is holding with members of the public, for the Liberal Democrat general election candidate to be spreading lies about this very important consultation process. The campaign literature states that Conservatives are axing services in Winchester A&E. 

I was pleased to get clarification from the panel that this is an independent consultation process run by Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICB and funded by the government's national hospital programme and that the decision over the options presented and the feedback will be made by the ICB in conjunction with NHS England at the decision making meeting planned for spring 2024.

I furthermore sought to clarify that this process is not influenced by party politics as suggested by Danny Chambers and that no undue influence on the outcome has been brought by any Conservative or member of the government.

I was pleased to hear from the panel that this was categorically not the case and there was no political pressure on the outcome from the government.

It’s very important, and I have made sure that I promote this across all the parish council meetings that I attend in my ward, that members of the public seek out the true facts about the complex nature of the problem that the ICB and NHS England are grappling with by going to the Hampshire Together website and making their own views known.

It is seriously unhelpful to constructive debate, that the Lib Dems are weaponising this issue in the upcoming general election, rather than seek to find the best option for all our residents in patient outcomes, attracting the best NHS expertise and value for money for the taxpayer.

Cllr Neil Bolton, 
Upper Meon Valley ward,
Winchester City Council

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