Banbury’s Labour County Councillors want to ensure that views of local people are given priority in upcoming consultations over cuts to Horton Hospital’s services.
Cllr Mark Cherry said, “Two years ago the consultation over the closure of the Horton’s abdominal unit were held on a dark winter’s night at Rye Hill Golf Club which meant that many people were dissuaded from attending.
And let’s not forget that when the Maternity Unit was under threat in 2006 people took to the streets of Banbury in protest.”
In plans unveiled recently by the Hospital Trust a number of services including maternity, special care baby unit (SCBU), children’s ward, most trauma/orthopaedic work, medical services and A&E are under threat.
Cllr. Cherry said, “This is all about saving money at a time when there are 8000 new homes being built in and around Banbury. NHS England, have requested that all local healthcare services develop plans to deliver the NHS Five Year Forward View, and one of the key requirements is to ascertain if services are financially viable.
In my view, closing services is a political decision by the Conservative government to save money – and has nothing to do with providing good, local services that people need.”
Labour Cllr. Surinder Dhesi who is a member of the Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee, said, I am very concerned and will be bringing up these threats to services at the next meeting.
“I recently took my husband to an appointment at the Radcliffe Hospital and it took us over an hour. Just imagine what might happen if a woman needed specialist maternity help and had to be taken the 25 miles to Oxford. We all know the Radcliffe is overstretched at the moment and they use the Horton as an overflow. Any downgrading of vital services at the Horton is putting lives at risk.”