Doctor shortage may see maternity unit downgraded

A shortage of doctors may lead to an Oxfordshire maternity unit being downgraded next month.

Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust, which runs Horton General Hospital, has scheduled an extraordinary meeting of its board of directors on 31 August to decide whether to downgrade the unit to midwife led only.

Horton has one of the smallest obstetric units in the NHS

The trust has faced an ongoing recruitment crisis at Horton’s maternity unit, having held three recruitment rounds for the middle grade obstetric posts since the start of the financial year. It warns that from the end of September, six out of the eight required doctor’s posts may still be vacant.

Full story in the HSJ 16 August 2016