Oxford

Horton Hospital changes referred to health secretary Jeremy Hunt

Rally at Horton Hospital
Image caption Campaigners have been lobbying councillors to refer the changes to Jeremy Hunt

Possible changes to a Oxfordshire hospital's maternity unit are to be referred to the health secretary.

Health bosses are considering making a temporary downgrade of maternity services at Banbury's Horton Hospital permanent.

However, the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee decided the proposal was a "significant" change and should be reviewed by Jeremy Hunt.

The hospital trust said it would liaise with the committee on its next steps.

The committee decided that a move to close Deer Park Medical Centre in West Oxfordshire should be referred as well.

On Wednesday a high court judge rejected an application for a judicial review into the Deer Park Medical Centre closure.

The maternity unit at Horton General Hospital was re-designated as midwifery-led on 3 October 2016 on safety grounds due to problems recruiting obstetric doctors.

Keith Strangwood, from Keep The Horton General Group, said: "This is the third time we have tried to get it referred... we have been bombarding the county council and the scrutiny committee with detailed information."

Yvonne De Burgo, a 71-year-old Deer Park Medical Centre patient, said: "There is going to be such a knock-on effect for patients at all of Witney's surgeries if they shut down Deer Park.

"It is the best surgery I have ever attended in my life and the quality of care is fantastic."

Image caption A public meeting was held after the decision to close the Deer Park Medical Centre was made

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites