A survey of the NHS in the Star area shows that 85% of people are opposed to mixed sex hospital wards.

The overwhelming ‘no' to men-women wards was in answer to the question: "Do you think that mixed sex wards in hospital are acceptable?"

The four-page survey, done by Yateley's county councillor, Adrian Collett (Lib Dem), was sent to 35,000 homes throughout Aldershot, Farnborough, Blackwater and Yateley.

Some 640 people took the trouble to answer the questions and send it back.

The results showed that charges for dental visits and eye tests have stopped many people having regular check-ups and prescription charges have even stopped some people from getting medicine.

Mr Collett said the fact that 20% were not having their eyes tested now and about a third no longer had a dental check up was very worrying and was storing up trouble for the future.

He added: "A disaster, created by penny pinching on primary health care and preventative medicine, is waiting to happen."

One interesting response showed that 77% of Conservative-voting respondents rejected Tory proposals to introduce a fee for people to see their GP.

The survey found that while most people were satisfied with their GP services, 50% waited for more than two days for an appointment and of those, half felt that this was too long. Fewer than 9% were dissatisfied with their consultations and only about 1% were totally dissatisfied.

Some 63% had been referred to a consultant and of these 10% took longer than six months to be seen. Meanwhile almost 90% of private patients saw their consultant within four weeks!

Mr Collett pointed out that the same specialists saw both private and NHS patients. "Surely, if consultants could be contracted for more NHS hours, this would dramatically improve NHS waiting lists," he said in his Focus newsletter.

The survey also revealed that 8% of respondents had waited over 10 months for in-patient hospital treatment and some were still waiting. Some 30% thought that the waiting times were too long and 11% had negative views of the medical attention they received.

The great majority was satisfied with the nursing care and 75% liked the food.

In his conclusions Mr Collett said that only about a third were at all happy with Labour's handling of the NHS and virtually everyone (over 90%) agreed that there should be no cuts in health provision.