Key players in Horton maternity battle vow to continue the fight

Cllr Andrew McHugh, lead member for health and well-being, Cherwell District Council
Cllr Andrew McHugh, lead member for health and well-being, Cherwell District Council

The fight for a full consultant-led maternity service at the Horton will continue, campaigners and politicians say.

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis sent a message to Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

“The JR is too far for people in the third stage of labour to travel from the Banbury area. In 2017, I conducted a travel survey and the length of journey was one hour and twenty minutes, to be followed by an average of twenty minutes parking time.

“This is simply unacceptable while in labour. Choosing where to give birth is causing a great deal of anxiety and distress to expectant families.”

Mrs Prentis vowed the fight for a full Horton obstetric service will continue.

Sophie Hammond of Keep the Horton General said: “Keep The Horton General is not going to back down on this issue - it’s too important.

“When the Secretary of State for Health or the IRP come to review the CCG’s decision, we want to demonstrate how the protestations of the CCG and the OUH conceal a litany of evasions and omissions that have made a mockery of due process.

“We will be focusing our efforts again on work that should have been carried out by the trust and CCG, but hasn’t been. One is research into numbers of births in relation to new housing being built and planned in the Horton’s catchment.

“Another is the issue of what would make an obstetric unit at the Horton sustainable in the longer term.”

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell District Council lead member for health and wellbeing, told the CCG: “The ‘foreseeable future’... is an open-ended concept.

“At the very least, this flawed decision needs to be revisited on an annual basis.

“Over the last 18 months we have heard much about the possible 90,000 extra appointments to be delivered at the Horton. Surely there is a business plan supporting this target?

“There must be an idea of what these clinics would be and where they would be housed but to the best of my knowledge there is no such business plan.

“In the absence of a tangible business plan the people of Banburyshire are being asked to accept an intangible promise of a brighter future but not in the foreseeable future.

“We want to see dates, plans, contracts tendered, work started. We not only want something more concrete; we want to see concrete being poured,” he said.