Horton General Hospital in Banbury 'to keep services'

Image caption, Campaigners oppose moving services from the Horton General Hospital

A hospital in Oxfordshire will not lose key services under new proposals announced by the county's NHS bosses.

A public consultation was set to decide the future of the A&E department and paediatric services at Banbury's Horton General Hospital.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has now cancelled the survey.

Phase one of the consultation met "almost universal" opposition and health bosses said they would approach phase two "in a very different manner".

The number of midwife-led units across the county would also not be changed under the proposals, which will go to the Oxfordshire CCG board on 29 March.

Campaigners have been pushing to keep services at the hospital and reverse a downgrade in its maternity unit agreed last year.

Image caption, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group voted for the changes in phase one

Banbury Conservative MP Victoria Prentis said she was delighted by the news and that it felt "like a weight has been lifted".

But she added: "Although we do still need to fight over the future of obstetrics, and the problem seems to be one of recruitment."

Peter Fisher, former consultant and supporter of the Keep The Horton General campaign, said he was "surprised and very pleased" some services could be saved.

He said: "There have been so many ups and down that we have to adopt a position of cautious optimism. But the people of the area will be very relieved that the A&E will continue."

He added that he hoped this would lead to a rethink of some changes put forward in phase one of the consultation, such as the downgrading of critical care at the hospital.

A CCG spokesman said the decision "will allow a new approach to engaging people in localities on the issues that affect them locally".

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