Keep the Horton General campaigners and numerous supporters travel to London on today to take part in the first national demonstration against wholesale NHS cuts.
The Banbury contingent – which will be joined by members of the public on a coach – will be representing the town’s fight to keep acute services at the Horton General Hospital.
Consultant-led maternity was removed on last week. Consultation will begin in January on cuts to other major departments in Banbury. Protesters will join other campaign groups from all over England whose local hospitals are also losing maternity, children’s services and A&Es.
The cuts are part of a redesign of the NHS called Sustainability and Transformation Plans, whose aim to centralise specialist and doctor-led services in big city hospitals such as the John Radcliffe, Oxford.
The future of district general hospitals which currently offer A&E, full maternity, Special Care Baby Units, children’s wards, adult acute medicine and trauma and orthopaedics would become outpatient and diagnostic units with teams of mobile clinicians and GPs providing acute ‘hospital at home’.
Groups from Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Chorley, Redditch, Stafford, Epsom, Barnstaple, Grantham, Lewisham and others will march from Trafalgar Square, via 10 Downing Street – where Keep the Horton General campaign presents its 19,000-strong petition – to the Department of Health and Parliament Square.