Campaigners win right to appeal against Banbury Hospital changes

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image copyrightEPA
image captionChanges to services at Horton General Hospital met with "significant public opposition"

Campaigners have won the right to appeal against a High Court ruling in their fight to stop the downgrading of services at a hospital.

They are challenging a consultation process carried out into changes at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

Plans included closing beds and the permanent downgrading of the maternity unit, which they want to see reversed.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) said it was "disappointed" by the decision.

The Keep the Horton General campaign group wants to appeal against the decision in December 2017 when a judicial review was dismissed.

Cherwell District Council had also objected to the consultation process, calling it "flawed and confusing".

Vindicated

OCCG chief executive Louise Patten said: "We are disappointed with this new development.

"It has been nearly 11 months since... the judge dismissed the claims brought by the claimants, which included interested party Keep the Horton General campaign group.

"We are currently seeking clarification on the implications of this permission to appeal."

Campaign group chairman Keith Strangwood said they felt vindicated by the decision.

He said: "We have faced considerable criticism for the past 10 months for 'holding up' any progress being made at the Horton.

"We have steadfastly believed in our cause and that is that we had to fight on for the sake of the many people who have suffered terribly due to the removal of beds and services."

A date for a further appeal hearing has not yet been set.

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