MP: ‘Delay Horton maternity decision’

The Horton General Hospital campaigners, councillors and general public. NNL-170726-101933001
The Horton General Hospital campaigners, councillors and general public. NNL-170726-101933001

A little under a fortnight before a crucial meeting that includes a verdict on the future of maternity services at the Horton is to be held, Banbury’s MP is calling for the decision to be delayed.

The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) is due to hold a meeting on August 10 to make a decision on plans to change health services in the county.

The OCCG has been holding a public consultation on the first phase of the Oxfordshire Transformation Plan (OTP) which includes the removal of consultant-led maternity at the Horton, changes to stroke services across the county and the closure of medical beds.

The Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) is due to meet with local NHS representatives to scrutinise the proposals on August 7.

This will then be included for discussion the OCCG’s extraordinary meeting.

But following a meeting with NHS England and NHS Improvement to discuss her concerns about the OTP consultation, MP Victoria Prentis says the decision on the future of maternity services at the Horton should be delayed until the public had a better idea of the shape of health services in the county.

She said: “While I appreciate the CCG’s board will be making a decision on the phase one consultation in a matter of weeks, I hope they will at the very least choose to pause any final decision on maternity services at the Horton General Hospital until we have a better understanding of the shape of health care provision in Oxfordshire.

“It is clear to me if a decision is made on maternity at the Horton on August 10, it will be difficult to reverse and have a significant impact on the future of acute services at our local general hospital,” she added.

The public can request to address HOSC via www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/get-involved-meetings