Chipping Norton a great place to live - but traffic, public transport and children's activities need to be improved
The report was drawn up after a project in which Healthwatch staff listened to people who live in the town and surrounding villages.
More than 200 people shared their experiences of accessing health, care and community services with the county’s health and care watchdog.
Healthwatch says many people enjoy living in Chipping Norton because of its rural location, access to employment and affordable housing. However, some people did say traffic in the town was an issue, that they wished public transport was better and that there could be more facilities for older children and teenagers.
In terms of access to health services, people said they preferred to drive to appointments as it was quicker, easier and cheaper than using public transport.
People also opted to use local services to avoid driving into Oxford, where parking at the hospital sites was ’problematic’. Some people who did not use the internet said they found it harder to access services.
Healthwatch Oxfordshire’s Executive Director Rosalind Pearce said: “I’d like to thank everyone who completed our survey or spoke to our team when they visited the town. One of the strong themes that emerged was the overwhelming sense of community in the town, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people really rallied round to support one another locally.
“We also heard again how important it is for public transport to be available and that not everyone has internet access. We believe service providers should be mindful of both these issues when reviewing, developing and supporting services.”
Healthwatch Oxfordshire is to circulate the report widely to service providers and commissioners as well as local authorities. It will also be included as reference material for the Oxfordshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
This work is the latest in a series of research projects by Healthwatch Oxfordshire in towns across the county.
The Living in Chipping Norton report can be read in full at www.healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk/report/living-in-chipping-norton-march-2022