Banburyshire scrutiny chairman will refer Horton maternity decision back to government

Cllr Arash Fatemian who has chaired the Horton HOSC since last September
Cllr Arash Fatemian who has chaired the Horton HOSC since last September

The chairman of the Horton Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HHOSC) is to send the decision not to reinstate full maternity to Banbury back to the Health Secretary.

Cllr Arash Fatemian, who has been leading a review of all the evidence used to downgrade the Horton's maternity service, and recording new information from patients and councillors in south Northants and south Warwickshire, is demanding thea Oxfordshire health bosses take no further action until an outcome has been received.

He told the Banbury Guardian: "Obviously I am disappointed but not altogether surprised by the very regrettable decision taken by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) at their board meeting regarding the future of the Horton.

"Having already voted to do so, the HHOSC committee will now refer this decision to the Secretary of State. We believe that key elements of the original referral still stand and there is a strong evidence base for making this decision, which is not one that is taken lightly.

"I will also be writing to the CCG and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust for a commitment that they will take no permanent steps until the outcome of the referral is known.

"My thanks again to the tireless work of volunteers, the local community, local mothers, and those on the committee for their continued support. Should the Secretary of State and the Independent Reconfiguration Panel find against the referral, though given the strong grounds I would hope this is unlikely, this is by no means the end game and the committee will continue to hold the OUH and the CCG to account to ensure positive vision for the Horton, including maternity, is realised."