Cherwell District Council has vowed to do everything it can to protect the Horton.
Leader Cllr Barry Wood said the authority was prepared to be a preferred investor in a new vision for the Horton and would offer ‘golden hello’ payments to attract obstetricians needed to staff the consultant-led maternity department safely.
And he said the council was pursuing its bid to get a Judicial Review held into the ‘flawed’ consultation process into removal of the unit.
Speaking to the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday, Mr Wood said: “It’s important for you to know why Cherwell is seeking to spend a whole lot of money on this kind of thing. It’s because this system you are dealing with today is so fundamentally flawed. We need a new vision for that hospital. We need it to be such that we improve what is done - that we have innovation in the way obstetrics is protected.
“There is a capital programme that is going to be needed and that is skated over in the (Oxfordshire Transformation Plan) documents. The district council is ready to be a preferred investor in a new vision for the Horton. It may be we can provide capital where other people can not. The council is also ready to consider innovative solutions that might involve golden handshakes for new obstetricians. We are always ready to be innovative, to stand up for local opinion.”
Urging the JHOSC committee to refer the ‘whole matter’ to the Secretary of State for Health, Mr Wood referred to the failures of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s handling of the public consultation.
“You’ve heard about the split consultation, the inability to make meaningful representations, the failure to meet the newest requirements of the government ahead of proposals to reduce beds, the failure to provide sufficent information or publish appendices, failure to comply with the National Health Act 2006 - failure, failure, failure.”
For more on this story read; ‘Councillors and NHS chiefs go head to head over Horton staffing’