Leaked report raises fear for town hospital

Campaigners in Witney fear the town’s health services could endure more suffering after swingeing cuts to the Oxfordshire NHS were leaked last week.

In the document released by Reading Borough Council, it was revealed that the secretive ‘sustainability and transformation plan’ (STP) predicts a deficit of £479m by 2020 across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire (BOB).

But it is Oxfordshire services that are most at risk, with the county set for a £247m deficit across its four agencies, including Oxford University Hospitals Trust (£119m), Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (£89m), Oxford Health Trust (£27m) and the South Central Ambulance Service (£12m).

The cuts could see a reduction in the number of qualified nurses by substituting them with healthcare assistants, a cut in the number of beds in hospitals and give ‘new roles’ to community hospitals across the county.

Witney is already preparing itself for the loss of one of its four GP surgeries.

Full story in the Oxfordshire Guardian, 24 November 2016