Panel says it is impressed by campaigners

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THE man who is leading the review into the G5 closure said he has been ‘heartened’ by the level of interest people have shown in the issue.

Paul Roberts is one of 16 members of the independent reconfiguration panel, which has been asked by the Health Secretary to carry out a full inquiry.

Mr Roberts, who is the chief executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, says the panel has been inundated with calls and letters from people about G5.

He said: ‘We’ve had a lot of people contact us and we are seeing a lot of people. We are listening to all sorts of views – patients, relatives, members of the public, health care professionals, and hospital staff.

‘We’ve been heartened by the level of interest people have shown.’

The panel, which is made up of men and women who all have backgrounds or jobs in the health service, have been visiting various groups and people in Portsmouth for the last few weeks.

Mr Roberts said: ‘We are here in Portsmouth at the moment to hear what people have to say and make sure we listen to all the different sides.

‘Our role is to consider whether the closure of G5 enables the provision of safe and sustainable end-of-life care.

‘The whole panel will consider the evidence and make a decision together. We will then give the Secretary of State advice and make recommendations and it’s for him to make the final decision.’

Mr Roberts did however say that after past reviews carried out by the panel, Secretaries of State for Health have always listened to the advice and followed the recommendations.

To have your say on G5 email or call 0207 045 4844.

The panel have asked for all views to be submitted by March 18. They will then report back to the Health Secretary by March 31.