The legal challenge over the consultation on the downgrading of the Horton General Hospital was dismissed by the High Court on Thursday, 21 December 2017.
Sue Edgar, Chair, Labour Health Matters, responds:
Like everyone else in Banburyshire, we read with horror your report of 28th Dec outlining the terrible news from the High Court that came just before Christmas. The judicial review found that the ‘consultation process’ (or fait accompli) on the removal of consultant obstetric services from the Horton was lawful, and the Clinical Commissioning Group can now go on to attempt the removal of other vital core services such as paediatrics and A&E.
We offer our gratitude and our condolences to all those who worked so hard and gave so much to bring these utterly disgraceful plans for the Horton before a judge, and we pledge our support in the continuing battle to prevent irreparable harm being done to our local communities through the loss of a fully functioning hospital. We very much hope that an appeal to the Secretary of State might lead to an in-depth consideration of the Horton’s case and a measured discussion with an expert Independent Reconfiguration Panel. They will, they must, have before them all the information they need to assess the likely effect of removing such a huge tranche of NHS acute services from a growing town.
A process of destruction is underway. All around us in the NHS we all support, we are looking at chaos, bad faith, privatisation and destructive underfunding – across every area of health and social care. It is inconceivable that just as our hospital services are attacked and removed to Oxford, our GP services go into meltdown due to underfunding and low morale. We are left with dangerous under-provision and increased misery for thousands of patients.
Labour Health Matters is a working group of the Banbury and Bicester Constituency Labour Party. Our brief is to campaign for NHS services, to gather information and to formulate ideas to protect the future of our NHS.