Councillor says Oxfordshire STP will ‘seriously damaged health of people’

Members of local authorities are being put under increasing pressure to inspect and reject plans that would downgrade the Horton and other NHS services in the county. The Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Oxfordshire would also replace nine community hospitals with four unspecified ‘hubs’.The STP, which seeks to cut £200m from Oxfordshire’s NHS budget by 2020-21, would mean care for all but one per cent experiencing a physical or mental ‘health crisis’ would be provided outside a hospital.

Serious concerns are now being voiced about the ability of primary care and district health services to deal with so many patients being discharged from hospital. And doubt is growing among influential figures that the ‘savings’ would materialise. Dr Peter Fisher, retired Horton consultant and Keep the Horton General Campaign member, said: “Already senior figures like Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers and former Tory health secretaries Stephen Dorrell and Andrew Lansley (Coalition Health Secretary who designed the NHS reforms) are expressing doubts about STPs being deliverable. “There are repeated media reports of problems caused already by bed shortages.” Dr Fisher said claims last week that Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire West would form an American-style Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) were worrying.

Full story in The Banbury Guardian, 8 December 2016