Saturday, 27 August 2016

Save Horton Hospital - petition


Horton Hospital near Banbury is threatened with extensive cuts in the near future, leading to the closure of its Accident and Emergency unit, the specialist Maternity Unit, the Special Care Baby Unit, its Children's Ward and its Intensive Care facilities. For all of these needs, residents of Banbury would have to drive 40 minutes to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. That is just not good enough.
The hospital board and Head of Service claim that they have had difficulty recruiting enough staff to run the Maternity and other units. However, this claim is disputed by those campaigning to stop the closures. They say there has been a deliberate running-down of the staffing with vacancies not being re-advertised and this is all a pretext for ultimately closing the hospital. 

All over the country A and E units are being shut and this is a situation of grave danger.

The link to the petition is here:- https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/163411
   
Save Banbury Horton General Hospital From Extensive and Dangerous Cuts
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHFT) is consulting on the way services are provided at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury 
Their plans could take away A&E, consultant-led maternity, Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), 24 hour / 7 day a week children's ward and intensive care.


protests at parliament and People's Park

Welcome to Keep the Horton General


aka SAVE OUR HORTON - campaigning against threats at Banbury’s Horton General Hospital

THE FIGHT BEGINS AGAIN

Consultant-led Maternity, SCBU, 24/7 Children's Ward, A&E, orthopaedics and Critical Care Unit under threat

See below for the latest news, or follow these links to find out what's going on and what you can do to help.
Why not join the Save Our Horton facebook group and get the latest news and discussion straight away?

Q&A AT ST MARY'S BANBURY 

MAKES IT CLEAR - HANDS OFF OUR HORTON!

At a packed St Mary's Church last night (25 August), Banbury told Oxford University Hospital Trust bosses loud and clear that they will not tolerate the downgrading of maternity services at the Horton General Hospital.
After two last minute changes in format, Keep the Horton General campaigners were given a prominent position on stage and right of reply to the trust's answers. The audience cheered as KTHG chair Keith Strangwood interrupted Dr Bruno Holthof's opening speech to present him with a copy of nearly 15,000 petition signatures, collected over the last few weeks in protest at the imminent removal of consultant-led maternity, and the potential downgrading of many other departments at the Horton General Hospital.
After the opening speeches by the trust, independent chair Rev. Philip Cochrane asked many questions on behalf of people who had emailed himself and Victoria Prentis MP prior to the meeting. Members of KTHG, midwives and people from Banbury, including many parents and expectant mothers, also took to the microphone to ask questions and challenge the answers.
Trust managers, including the chief executive Dr Bruno Holthof, looked flustered and irritated as the audience erupted over their disputed claims regarding their efforts to recruit, the time taken to get to the JR, the availability of ambulances and their downplaying of risk to delivering mothers and babies. At one point, Dr Holthof embarrassed himself by not knowing the name of Catherine Greenwood, a clinician who was sharing the stage with him, and with whom he was supposedly working to resolve the problems at the Horton.
Incredulous at the trust's claims that the cuts are all about patient safety, supporters held up signs reading "Dead in an Ambulance" and "The JR is TOO FAR" whenever any of the Oxford University Hospitals Trust panel made this claim. The placards referred to the inevitable consequences for some women and babies if obstetric support is taken away, accessible only by a blue light ambulance journey of at least 45 minutes.
Rev. Philip Cochrane did an admirable job maintaining control in difficult circumstances as the audience grew increasingly angry with the trust's inadequate, evasive and misleading answers.
The trust's claims that "premium offers" had been made and turned down were challenged with evidence that salaries of just £38k and one-year contracts had been offered to prospective obstetricians. The trust was also challenged over their continuing failure, over several weeks, to interview up to 17 doctors with UK maternity experience, who are known to be waiting "with their bags packed" to come to work at the Horton General Hospital. Andrew McHugh, retired Horsefair GP Surgery Practice Manager, walked off stage and left the meeting in protest at the trust's insistence that sufficient efforts had been made to recruit the specialist doctors needed to keep the maternity unit fully open. He received a standing ovation as he stormed out of the building.
The Q&A event ended with the loudest applause of the evening when a brave Horton General Hosptial midwife took to the stage to read out a statement on behalf of her fellow midwives.
"I am currently a midwife at the unit and we all would like to thank KTHG for affording us these few moments to speak," she said. "Until now our presence and our voices have remained quiet... but tonight I now call upon my sisters here in this hall to stand up with me. Stand tall, stand proud, and stand united in our one voice, our one message.
"We are all at our very core only focused on one thing.... the safe provision of quality care to the women and families in our charge. We plead now personally to you, Dr Bruno Holthof, to reject your Trust's Contingency Plans, to insist your Obstetric Consultants across both hospitals pull together temporarily with agency doctors until the proposed Ugandan Doctors are in post.
We demand we are no longer silenced, that our contribution and place within OUHFT is acknowledged and respected and that despite the lack of trust in your Trust, Dr Holthof, you prove to us, your staff, that you are patient focused, women centred and recognise fully the important crucial role the whole of the Horton General Hospital plays in this growing community."
The midwives received a standing ovation from the audience, politicians and campaigners, with only the trust managers remaining seated.
Later, supporters took to social media to express their disgust at the trust's answers and their fears that, despite the trust's assurances that a decision has not yet been made, it is a "done deal". Videos, photos and public comments are available on our Save Our Horton facebook page.
Our thanks to Robert Shepley of Banburytown.com for allowing us to use his article as a starting point for this report.

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