North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis is seeking her constituents’ help amid growing concerns over planned changes to Banbury’s Horton Hospital.
Mrs Prentis wants residents to take part in her campaign to collect information on journey times to the John Radcliffe Hospital (JR) in Oxford.
Her idea follows a meeting with the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), where journey times were discussed. Mrs Prentis stated in the meeting that door-to-department journey times, including the time it takes to park, must be included in statistics showing travel times to the JR.
Horton’s maternity unit was downgraded in October last year and under the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) released at the end of the year, it seems likely that more Banburyshire residents will have to travel to the JR to be seen, instead of at the Horton.
A consultation on the STP changes is expected to begin this month and travel statistics will be an important part of the consultation process.
With that in mind Mrs Prentis is keen to ensure that the Oxfordshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHT) and OCCG are aware of the impact of travel times between Banbury and the JR, before any decision is made.
The campaign is open to anyone travelling from Banbury and surrounding areas to the JR for an appointment, or to visit a relative. It involves filling out a short form about a journey to the JR, and sending it or emailing it to Mrs Prentis’ constituency office. She and her staff will then collate the responses to submit to the OCCG.
Mrs Prentis said: “Following the downgrade of the Horton maternity unit, I remain extremely concerned about travel times to the John Radcliffe.
“The journey can be so unpredictable and parking times must be taken into account. These variables need to be considered ahead of the consultation on NHS services in Oxfordshire. It would be brilliant if as many people as possible get involved in the campaign to give us a good indication of true journey times from Banbury.”
If you are travelling to the JR from the Banbury area, please cut out the form which will be printed in this week’s Banbury Guardian, fill it in, and send it to: Victoria Prentis MP, Heyford Park House, Upper Heyford, Bicester, OX25 5HD.
You can also request an electronic version of the form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also post your photos of you leaving and arriving on social media, with your travel time to the JR, using the hashtag #Banbury2JR.