Sunday, 19 November 2017

Townlands scrutiny group may open all meetings to public

A GROUP set up to moniter the new Townlands Memorial Hospital in Henley is to consider holding all its meetings in public.

The Townlands Stakeholder Reference Group currently meets in public at every other meeting.

But at its latest closed meeting, held at the hospital in York Road last week, members discussed opening up all future meetings to the public and the issue will be discussed again the next time they meet in January.

The group has previously been dubbed “tokenistic” by health campaigners, who said it had failed to engage with the community as promised or to provide useful information on Townlands services.

Town councillor Ian Reissmann, who chairs the Townlands Steering Group and also sits on the reference group, suggested the group could operate like a council meeting with a closed session at the end of meetings for any confidential items.

Speaking at a meeting of Henley Town Council, he said the group was now engaging well with the community and had provided figures on usage of the hospital’s rapid access care unit at last week’s meeting. He said: “They are confidential for now but we'll be able to publish them shortly.

“It does appear that the unit is working very well and has been a major addition to health services in the area.”

The next meeting of the steering group will be on January 17, while the reference group will meet on January 23.

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