A WATCHDOG claims the last meeting of the borough's health body was 'shabby and arrogant' for preventing a public discussion of planned health cuts.
Geoff Ryall-Harvey, of the Cheshire West and Ellesmere Port & Neston Patient and Public Involvement Forums (PPI), hit out at those running the joint Cheshire West and Ellesmere Port & Neston Primary Care Trusts (PCT) meeting on August 4.
He slammed the 'closed door' nature of the meeting, arranged in part to discuss cuts to the local health service.
It was one of the last times the two PCTs were meeting jointly before merging.
In an open letter to Ellesmere Port & Neston PCT chairman Michael Darby, Mr Ryall-Harvey says: 'We must express our deep personal disappointment at the way the joint board was conducted.
'Many of us have been enthusiastic champions of the PCT, with the view it was committed to patient and public involvement and the democratisation of the NHS.
'So we were dismayed when this meeting was closed and there was no invitation of comments from the public.
'The meeting was a shabby and arrogant end to Ellesmere Port & Neston PCT.
'This proposed cuts will have long term effects on the quality and range of NHS services available to patients and is already putting local NHS jobs at risk.
'The PCT has a duty to act in an open and transparent fashion.'
He claims a report on cuts had 'omitted the more difficult issues' raised by the forums, while warnings from the Countess of Chester Hospital, among others, were not referred to in the meeting's 'self-congratulatory presentation'.
'There has been a great deal of objection to the proposals, the reality of which remain unclear,' he added.
Mr Ryall-Harvey has now asked the full joint board to meet again to discuss the matter in detail.
If they refuse he has threatened to refer the matter to the local Health Scrutiny Committee and the Secretary of State for Health.
David Holden, from the Count-ess' PPI, said: 'I was shocked at the lack of questions asked by board members. It seemed there were more board members absent than present.'
The PCT says that Mr Ryall-Harvey is entitled to express his opinions but there was nothing procedurally wrong with the meeting.
Trust spokeswoman Anne-Marie Storey said: 'The chairman of Ellesmere Port & Neston PCT, who chaired the meeting, asked for the agreement of the members of both boards to the proposed recommendation. No dissent was expressed.
'The chairman was therefore, confident he had the agreement of the members of both boards. Had any dissent been expressed a vote would have been held. This is the way both PCTs have operated since their creation in 2002.'