Owl says: could you EVER see EDDC doing this? NEVER – while Diviani is in charge.
“A group of local authorities have launched a judicial review challenge over what they described as a “confusing and flawed” consultation process on plans to downgrade services at a local hospital.
The challenge over Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s plans for Banbury’s Horton General Hospital is being led by Cherwell District Council.
South Northamptonshire Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Banbury Town Council are acting as co-claimants. The legal action is also being supported by the Keep the Horton General campaign group.
The OCCG’s proposed changes affect services including maternity, critical care and hospital bed use.
The consultation covers five key proposals which include taking all of the most serious critical care patients and all stroke cases directly to Oxford.
It also proposes changing the way hospital beds are used and permanently closing almost 200 beds between the Horton and Oxford hospitals.
Cherwell said that a key aspect of the changes would involve changes to the maternity unit and replacing a consultant-led service with only midwives. “This would mean there would be no doctors or opportunity for epidural relief which means 90% of mothers will have to travel to Oxford or other hospitals.”
The only proposal which would increase availability at the Horton would relate to planned care services, it argued. These would be welcomed with the right investment, the council said.
Ian Davies, interim joint chief executive of Cherwell and South Northamptonshire Councils, said: “Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has carried out a two-phase consultation into plans to downgrade key services at the Horton General Hospital. This approach has proved incredibly confusing and those who will be most affected by any changes – namely the residents of Banbury and surrounding areas – are still unsure as to exactly what is happening to their local hospital.
“For over two months we have struggled to help local people understand the implications of what is being consulted on and we have tried to answer the real concerns of real people. But there is still widespread confusion. We know the Horton General Hospital is a very valued and accessible hospital to people in north Oxfordshire, south Northamptonshire and parts of the Stratford district who regard it as their ‘local’ hospital of choice.
“These proposals have significant and permanent implications for future access to local services. Therefore we consider it entirely unacceptable that the OCCG is trying to move ahead with plans which have not been fully understood by those who will suffer the consequences.”
Cherwell said that a decision on whether it would receive permission to bring the judicial review challenge was expected next month.”