Horton campaigners produce guide to consultation responses

Keith Strangwood, chairman of the Keep the Horton General Campaign

Keith Strangwood, chairman of the Keep the Horton General Campaign

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Horton campaigners are to release a guide to the ‘mish mash’ of consultation into the hospital’s future.

Keep the Horton General chairman Keith Strangwood urged residents not to send in their responses to the Oxfordshire Transformation Plan paper until they have seen the guide.

“The document is a huge and completely confusing directory of hopes, plans and schemes that we do not believe are fair or workable.

“What they will satisfy though, is Oxfordshire hospital bosses’ desire to centralise all Banbury’s acute hospital services in Oxford,” he said.

“That’s in direct opposition to the view of the Health Secretary in 2008, who said Oxford was too far to transfer patients or mothers in labour humanely.”

Mr Strangwood said the guide will highlight numerous inconsistencies, claims and evidence that show there is no reason to believe that the dramatic change in care will work.

He said the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioniong Group has split consultation on Horton services and other health care into two phases, giving people no opportunity to see how basic requirements, on which the first phase plans are based, can be provided adequately.

“The plan is a mish mash of aims for removal of vital services and closures of beds with nothing in it to give anyone confidence that the end game is achievable,” he said.

“The guide has been a major work for the campaign group and will be available by emailing keepthehortongeneral@hotmail.co.uk or calline me on 07740 599736.

“We feel it is essential that people provide evidence to back their responses. The sheet the OCCG provides steers people into ticking boxes and accepting a pre-determined course that gives them the green light to downgrade the Horton.”

The consultation, which runs until April 9 includes changing the way hospital beds are used and increasing care closer to home; planned care at the Horton; acute stroke services in Oxfordshire; critical care at the Horton and maternity services including obstetrics, Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and emergency gynaecology surgery in north Oxfordshire. It is part of a five year Sustainability and Transformation Plan.