Sunday, 28 August 2016

More on the Campaign to Save Horton Hospital Banbury

The campaigners to save services at Horton Hospital in Banbury are asking everybody to write to senior members of the board of the Oxford University Hospital Trust. Please do this urgently as there is an important meeting coming up this Wednesday. 

Anita Higham, chair of the governors :- 

Dame Fiona Caldicott, Principal of Somerville:-;  for PA of John Bell;;;,,,,,

We are also urged to write to our MPs and to the Prime Minister. 

It has just been revealed that the Trauma ward is threatened with closure, along with the Accident and Emergency unit, maternity and gynaecology units, the children's ward and the intensive care facilities. The entire hospital could close by the end of this year.
 The campaign leaders assert , among other things, that there has been little attempt to recruit new staff as the underlying motive is to sell off the site for housing and a quick profit.  When two junior trauma doctors left earlier this year, their jobs were not advertised.


Horton could ‘close’ by year end - medics 

Horton sources say unacceptable tactics are being used to end trauma surgery in Banbury Roseanne Edwards 

15:1814:12Sunday 28 August 2016 
 Senior Horton sources revealed this weekend that Oxford bosses are removing trauma in the same way they are taking maternity from Banbury claiming there are ‘no doctors’

Two junior trauma doctors left two months ago, giving their notice two months before but managers have still not advertised for replacements leaving the unit two short. The scenario is a carbon copy of the excuse made for removal of maternity, they say. The medics, speaking exclusively to the Banbury Guardian, said the panel at Thursday’s public meeting at St Mary’s Church was untruthful about wanting to return maternity or save Horton services. 
“The trust are not listening . They’re lying, they know they’re lying and they know we know they are lying - but they don’t care.” On the day of the meeting the Horton A&E waiting time was 11 hours because the Banbury hospital was dealing with patients who could not be seen at the JR – at the quietest time of the year. And five gynaecology cases were in trauma beds – as managers prepare to close 28 Horton beds in F- and Oak wards.
 “They have a vitriolic hatred for the Horton which they have wanted closed since the Arthur Davidson Inquiry* and have adopted a policy of slowly destroying each department, bit by bit,” the sources agreed. “Emergency general surgery has been devastated and now it’s maternity. Everything else comes next. The dominoes will fall. Once maternity goes there will be no on call anaesthetist. Trauma will be crippled and ended. Paediatrics is under pressure.”
 The sources said Oxford managers have refused Horton surgeons’ offers to take huge pressure off the John Radcliffe, Oxford at Banbury’s high performing trauma unit. The JR is way below government targets because of patient numbers. “We could run the JR list more cheaply and more efficiently with our low bed occupancy. We estimate we would save the trust £750,000 - £1m a year but they refuse.” “National targets call for surgery for hip fractures to be operated on within 36 hours. We are fourth best in the country, achieving this in the high 90s per cent - with most fractures done within 24 hours and many in less than 10 hours. 
“The JR misses the targets consistently on more than half. In July the JR met this target only 19 per cent of cases. The cost to the Horton of not being ‘in tariff’ was £30,000 in 2015 while the JR lost more than £330,000.” The Horton regularly takes on cases for Oxford, such as broken wrists, hips and knees. “We were promised we would go to eight trauma surgeons in Banbury and then they reneged. There are five now. Weekend physiotherapy has been withdrawn,” the sources said. “We could do an extra 500 trauma cases a year in Banbury saving the OUH up to £1m a year. They know it makes economic sense but they will not listen. It’s not about money, it’s about destroying the site.” 
It is understood the lead trauma surgeon in Oxford is in favour of the plan to share workload but OUH clinical directors are ‘not interested’. “The problem is the true catchment population Oxford is barely bigger than Banbury’s. It is too small – smaller than comparable teaching hospitals – smaller than Northampton or Reading,” said the source. “Without the university it would be nothing. With its university it is a world class teaching hospital. 
“There is not a shred of evidence for the need for a children’s hospital in Oxford. Oxford’s was simply too small a paediatric unit to need so much infrastructure. So it needed Banbury’s patients to make Oxford viable. It needs to destroy Banbury to get the Horton’s patients. “If Oxford had merged with Stoke Mandeville instead of the Horton (it is only a mile further away) they’d have done the same there. They’ve got their eyes on their spinal injury rehabilitation unit and want to move that to Oxford. They don’t care how overloaded the JR is.
 “If they moved 20 per cent of patients at Oxford to Banbury making 60 per cent in Oxford and 40 per cent in Banbury, both sites would be better. But they want 100 per cent - they want to keep the big departments,” said the sources. “If the trust copied the model trauma service across the two sites it would be perfectly feasible to run an acute surgical service and the maternity in Banbury. “The less complicated trauma work and routine Caesareans could be done in Banbury and the complex work in Oxford.” Fracture clinics in the Horton regularly see over 20-30+ new referrals every day. The source said the JR ‘can’t possibly cope’ with these extra numbers but wish to downgrade the Horton service anyway.

 “Patients here have a shorter stay than the JR and get operated on more quickly. But they are moving trauma to Oak Ward with only 18 of our 28 beds. Instead of praising us for our excellent service and sending us more patients, they are taking away our beds.” The sources described the situation as ‘managerial incompetence’ and said the management plan would ‘fail an MBA’. 
“The Horton is on the verge of closure and we will be lucky to be open at the end of the year.”
 “Refusing to look at a plan that would save money and improve services on both sites indicates this is not to do with money it is entirely to do with crippling services. They want to flog the Horton site,” said one if the sources. They said 2,000 children are being operated on a year in Oxford while 10,000 paediatric and 100,000 adult outpatients have to travel there. “They just don’t care. People will die. People have already died. Overloading Oxford does not help anyone. Perhaps Oxford patients will eventually see this is harming them as much as it is harming Banbury.”  *(Arthur Davidson Inquiry, 1996 which recommended a merger between the Horton and JR, on condition acute services remained in Banbury) 
*The downgrading ambitions for the Horton are part of the government’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan – a giant NHS reorganisation which is resulting in many district general hospitals all over England fighting to keep services local in the face of plans to centralist core specialist services to giant regional hospitals, introducing top up payments and encouraging medical insurance. Critics say the ‘no doctors’ tactic is being used in numerous threatened hospitals. 

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