Support continues to build for campaign to protect Horton services

Hands Off Our Horton banners. Adderbury. NNL-160823-132255009
Hands Off Our Horton banners. Adderbury. NNL-160823-132255009

Cherwell District Council is continuing to throw it support behind the campaign against the downgrading of services at the Horton, in Banbury.

At CDC’s executive meeting on Monday, councillors approved a report affirming the council’s position on proposals to transfer services from the Horton General Hospital to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The council is seeking further advice and is developing its formal response to the consultation being run by the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to reorganise NHS services in the county.

CDC has repeated its opposition to the consultation being split into two and has said splitting the consultation would make it harder for residents to properly make their views known, and harder for them to know what the ultimate outcome of the changes would be.

The decision came days after the joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) unanimously voted to refer the temporary closure of Banbury’s consultant-led maternity unit to the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt.

Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “The campaign to protect hospital services for the people of north Oxfordshire is uniting people from across the political spectrum. The vote to refer the fate of the Horton’s maternity unit to the health secretary is a welcome boost, as was Monday’s decision by Cherwell’s executive.

“As the district council we do not have the power to decide which services the Horton hospital will retain. However, healthcare is the most essential of all public services and, as representatives of a very large and growing catchment area, we must do everything we can to ensure that our constituents’ voices are heard and their best interests represented.

“Forcing women in labour and dangerously ill patients to be rushed to the John Radcliffe significantly reduces their chances of positive outcomes. For this reason, the council is continuing to support the #Banbury2JR campaign, to collect data about the length of journeys people face when travelling to Oxford hospitals.”

Cherwell is also working with healthcare specialists to support its response to the downgrade.

The #Banbury2JR hashtag is being widely used on social media and the survey is available to complete at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HQ55BQB