Major NHS plans made public as consultation on Oxfordshire changes starts

The first salvo of controversial plans to radically change NHS services in Oxfordshire are set to be published today.

It means people can finally have a say on proposals leaked in draft form two months ago.

Health chiefs want to save millions of pounds by cutting the number of hospital beds, reducing the number of qualified nurses and potentially downgrading maternity services in the north of the county.

They claim the changes will improve patient experiences by making sure more people are treated in their own homes.

But campaigners have dismissed it as a cost-cutting exercise, with critics arguing the winter crisis in emergency care has highlighted the need for more, not fewer beds in hospitals.

Launching a three-month consultation, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) boss David Smith said: “We want to hear from people who use services in Oxfordshire – patients, carers, residents young and old, and people who work in our health services.”

The CCG said documents would go live on the consultation website from 2pm.

They cover proposals for hospital beds across the county, planned care and critical care at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, maternity services in North Oxfordshire and acute stroke services in Oxfordshire.

Full Story on The Whitney Gazette 16 January 2017