Tuesday, 30 August 2016

GPs Oppose Closure of Horton Hospital, Banbury

GPs in and around Banbury have condemned the planned cuts to Horton Hospital in the strongest terms as unsafe, and protested against the prospect of closure which they say is not "inevitable". 

This is a copy of the letter the GPs have sent collectively to the Oxford University Hospital Trust. 
The issue should be getting far more coverage on local and national news.  It is disgraceful that our headline news is all about the deaths of actors or the problems of people on the other side of the world, Meanwhile in England, health care units and hospital after hospital are just being closed down.

This is an issue for all those who live in Oxfordshire and it is part of the systematic downgrading of NHS services all over England. England gets less money spent on its health care than other parts of the UK  - yet we pay the bulk of the tax.
Dame Fiona Caldicott
Oxfordshire University Hospitals Foundation Trust
24 August 2016
Dear Dame Fiona,
We write as local General Practitioners who oppose the OUH proposals to downgrade the Horton Hospital, including, but not limited to, consultant led obstetrics.
We are opposed to the proposals on the grounds of safety, sustainability and the reduction in access to basic health care and choice for our patients, which will affect especially the most vulnerable.
We maintain that a midwife led unit with a delivery rate of 450+ per annum, which is 25 miles away from the nearest obstetrician and paediatrician, is not safe. Through no fault of the midwives working in such a unit, GPs would have to consider the wisdom of
recommending mothers to this service. Numbers would drop further and the service soon become non-viable.
We believe that these proposals, and the tenor of discussions relating to them, pose a risk to the overall integrity and sustainability of The Horton as a general hospital. They
undermine the morale of its staff and impact adversely on recruitment and retention of high quality personnel. Far from creating excellence in health care in the north of the county
(where the population is increasing), they betray a lack of will, vision and imagination and consequently degrade it.
We feel the proposals
 will result in services which are unsafe and unsustainable into the future.
 are not in the best interest of our patients who will be faced with serious obstacles in both accessing services and visiting sick relatives. The most vulnerable will be hardest hit.
 will increase demands on the ambulance services and its crews and on already overstretched departments at the JRH.
 will have consequences both in medico-legal and human terms that are far reaching and expensive.
 adhere to an outmoded model of centralisation that ignores more modern trends to bring services closer to patients.
 ignore the clear recommendations of the Davidson Inquiry and the prerequisites of the agreement to merge into a single trust.
We, the GPs of North Oxfordshire, request that, with immediate effect, you use whatever power and influence you have to reverse these proposals to downgrade The Horton.
Dr Emma Haskew
For and on behalf
The GPs of
Bloxham Surgery and Hook Norton Surgery
Chipping Norton Surgery
Cropredy Surgery
Deddington Surgery
Fenny Compton & Shenington Surgery
Hightown Surgery
Horsefair Surgery and Middleton Cheney Surgery
Shipston Medical Centre
Sibford Surgery
West Bar Surgery
Windrush Surgery
Woodlands Surgery
Wychwood Surgery
The GPs' letter was sent to the following people:
Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee:
Councillor Yvonne Constance
Councillor Kevin Bulmer
Councillor Surinder Dhesi
Councillor Jane Doughty
Councillor Timothy Hallchurch
Councillor Laura Price
Councillor Alison Rooke
Councillor Les Sibley
Councillor Nigel Champken-Woods
Councillor Monica Lovatt
Councillor Susanna Pressel
Ms Moira Logie
Dr Keith Ruddle
Mrs Anne Wilkinson
Ms Julie Dean
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group:
Mr David Smith
Dr Joe McManners
Oxfordshire University Hospitals Foundation Trust:
Mr Andrew Stevens
Mr Brennan
Dr Bruno Holthoff
Mr Geoffrey Salt
Mr Alisdair Cameron
Professor Sir John Bell
Mrs Anne Tutt
Mr Peter Ward
Mr Christopher Goard
Professor David Mant
Dr Tony Berendt
Ms Maria Moore
Ms Catherine Stoddart
Mr Mark Power
Ms Eileen Walsh
Dame Fiona Caldicott
And the Keep the Horton General campaign

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