Banbury Labour Councillors and supporters joined a coalition of other political parties, unions and campaign groups in a “Hands Around the Horton”, mass demonstration, on Sunday 20 August 2016, in a bid to save acute services.
In plans unveiled recently by the Hospital Trust a number of services at the Horton Hospital, Banbury, are under threat, including maternity, special care baby unit (SCBU), children’s ward, most trauma/orthopaedic work, medical services and A&E. The Trust say they are having difficult in attracting consultants to Banbury, but the strategy of concentrating specialist surgical units at the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, at least an hour’s drive away, remains on the cards.
Banbury Labour Councillor Steve Kilsby says, “Moving maternity services to Oxford will undoubtedly lead to distress for mothers and babies, and almost certainly lead to deaths. The Trust has to think its whole strategy out again, and acknowledge the increasing health demands of Banbury and its large hinterland
I am increasingly of the opinion that OUHT see Banbury as a soft touch. What would happen if the proposals (and actions) of the Trust were visited upon Oxford itself? The middle classes would be in revolt, and the Trust would be forced to climb down. Well, today’s actions demonstrate that Banbury is not taking any nonsense about removing or diluting our services either.
Councils have been forced to implement savage cut to services. There is now nowhere to run. We lose our buses so people cannot get to their GP or hospital and the ambulance service is so stretched emergency journeys from Banbury to Oxford are in jeopardy.”