Horton consultation sheet is ‘ludicrously slanted’ to downgrade, says campaigner

Sue Edgar, campaigner for protection of Horton services since 1993
Sue Edgar, campaigner for protection of Horton services since 1993

The response document on which Banburyshire residents are meant to give their views in the consultation on Horton services is ‘ludicrously slanted’, according to a Horton campaigner.

Sue Edgar, who was secretary of the Horton campaign group Banbury Health Emergency during the 1990s threats, said the design of the survey was clearly and deliberately to get replies that allow the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to confirm permanent loss of consultant-led maternity and adult acute medical beds.

“The format of the response sheet is just a promotion booklet for downgrading these departments,” said Mrs Edgar, of Horley.

“The only questions they ask are multiple choice responses to their own justifications for removal of these important local services last October.

“For example they say ‘many older people are taken to hospital in an emergency and then have to stay there unnecessarily while waiting to be discharged with care at home or closer to home’ - and then ask if you agree that they shouldn’t have to go.

“There is no suggestion that more government resources should be given to the local authority to meet its responsibility for care packages, the lack of which are why ‘bedblocking’ happened in the first place.

“With the beds removed, even those who do need admission cannot be, but there is nowhere to mention that. Their statements are too general and mean nothing without a context. And they are all ludicrously slanted towards the outcome they want. This whole exercise is a deliberate attempt to downgrade the Horton,” said Mrs Edgar.

For links to the consultation documents and Banbury MP Victoria Prentis’s question and answer form on the consultation click here.