End of surgery on the agenda

The Horton General Hospital
The Horton General Hospital

The boss of NHS England says Banburyshire residents may take up issues about changes in hospital and health services at a public meeting next month.

Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of NHS England, told Sir Tony Baldry MP that local stakeholders will have a ‘clear opportunity to discuss the case for change’.

He was responding to Sir Tony’s concern at the length of time it has taken for a decision to be made on whether emergency surgery should continue at the Horton General Hospital.

In his appeal to Sir David for clarification, the Banbury MP described concerns that there has been no full public consultation on the issue even though emergency surgery was removed to Oxford a year ago.

Keep the Horton General Campaign has been pressing the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust (OUHT) to return emergency surgery, producing reports from numerous patients who have suffered serious disruption being transferred to Oxford from Banbury, often to be sent back because they could not be accommodated.

The meeting, run by the OUHT and GPs’ clinical commissioning group (OCCG), will be held in Banbury on Wednesday, February 5 from 6pm-8.15pm. A venue will be chosen when organisers have an idea of the audience size. It will be announced at the end of the week.

Prof Edward Baker, medical director of the OUHT, said: “We will be listening carefully to people’s views so we can take them into account in our future plans.”

The OCCG faces savings of £20m this year and more in the coming years. Without making efficiencies it will be £200m in the red by 2020.

To attend the meeting call 01865 231472. Once the venue has been chosen anyone may turn up to be involved.