"TOO important to ignore".
This is the message from those fighting for improved health services in Leeton shire.
A health services survey has now been released by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District as its first step in developing a clinical services plan for Leeton shire.
Leeton Shire Council mayor Tony Reneker said it is essential all residents filled out this survey.
He said now is the best chance for the community to make its voice heard and to help shape the future of health services in the shire.
"If we are serious about ensuring our hospital and health service concerns and ideas get the attention they deserve, we all need to get behind the project by completing the survey now," councillor Reneker said.
The survey has been prepared in collaboration with council, the Leeton Health Services Crisis Committee, the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network and the NSW Ambulance Service.
The findings will inform both the MLHD's health/clinical services plan and Leeton's own Integrated Health Services Strategy.
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"Working together is undoubtedly the best way forward and I am pleased all the key health agencies are working closely with Council and the Leeton Health Services Crises Committee to ensure long-term plans are comprehensive and fit for purpose," Cr Reneker said.
Leeton Health Services Crisis Committee chairman Maryann Iannelli said plenty of hard work had gone into putting the survey together.
She believes the survey's key strength is having the community involved with sharing their experiences and determining what services are most needed for the future.
"It's no secret Leeton residents are deeply concerned about the sustainability of our hospital and health services," Mrs Iannelli said.
"This survey affords us the best chance of making sure our concerns are raised constructively and our ideas and needs are fully considered.
"Community feedback is vital for successful health services planning in Leeton. It'll take just 10 or 15 minutes and I really urge every member of the community to make this a priority."
If we are serious about ensuring our hospital and health service concerns and ideas get the attention they deserve, we all need to get behind the project by completing the survey now.- Leeton Shire Council mayor Tony Reneker
The survey is anonymous and does not ask personal health related questions. It covers off services that have been used, satisfaction levels and invites feedback. There are some open-ended questions which allow residents to provide more detailed responses and suggestions.
The survey is electronic and easy to complete using a mobile phone or computer. There are posters up in shops, supermarkets, post offices and the Leeton Library with the survey QR code.
The QR code will also be advertised in The Irrigator.
Residents can also find the survey link here or on council's webpage.
For residents who don't have access to an electronic device, there is the option of visiting the Leeton library where staff can assist with accessing and navigating the survey.
Alternatively, residents can complete paper surveys from council's main office in Chelmsford Place, the library, the Leeton hospital, Whitton Post Office, and the Yanco Shop.
Completed paper surveys will be collected at those same locations in secure drop boxes.
Paper surveys will also be distributed to Leeton aged care facilities.
Surveys close September 4, residents have been urged not to wait until the last minute.
"Let's not delay, folks," the pair said. "This is too important an opportunity to miss, so we strongly urge everyone to complete the survey as soon as possible. Today would be great."
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