Fears grow over Chippy hospital downgrade
The first aid unit at Chipping Norton’s community hospital could be on the move with concerns it could herald a further downgrade of the hospital.
GPs in the town have suggested the unit be moved to the adjacent doctors’ surgery.
Hospital campaigners feel this could, in the longer term, threaten the very existence of the community hospital.
Campaigner, Clive Hill, said: “ We lost our NHS staffed and managed beds because the county council downgraded the service so that the beds could be operated by The Orders of St John and used to subsidise the care home.
“In addition physiotherapy has moved out of the hospital and into the GP surgery building.
“If the first aid unit goes as well there will not be much left.
“We also hear there is to be another review of obstetrics so we wonder if our Cotswold birthing centre will again be under threat.”
Fellow campaigner and former town and district councillor, John Grantham, added: “This could just be the thin end of the wedge because as overheads get spread across fewer services it will be argued the hospital has become uneconomic.”
South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) which operates the unit said the service would be unchanged and should be improved as they would be able to access patient records more effectively based in the GPs’ building.
Mr Hill added: “The SCAS paramedics do not have a greater fan than me, they do an absolutely wonderful job.
“The first aid unit is the best thing to happen to Chipping Norton and District Healthcare in a very long time.
“Our concerns are that in moving to the GP surgery we do not want the first aid unit to get swamped in general surgery issues.”
A date for a town hall meeting to discuss the issue will be announced soon.