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Protesters fight on against plans to cut hospital beds

The protest against bed cuts Credit: ITV

Campaigners protesting at plans to cut the number of beds at Henley's redeveloped hospital say they'll keep fighting, after Oxfordshire health bosses voted to press on with the plans.

The board of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group met this morning to discuss the model of care which will be used at the revamped Townlands hospital.

Henley was originally promised 18 beds to replace the 14 currently in the Peppard ward, which is due to be demolished in November.

But that has since been reduced to eight, with the proposed introduction of a Rapid Access Care Unit, or RACU, with support from the neighbouring St. John's Care Home.

Today the board voted to endorse those plans, while promising to look at improving the transition period. They did not rule out the 18-bed option.

Two weeks ago, 2000 people marched through Henley in protest at the proposed changes.

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Decision day for Oxfordshire hospital

Local support for Townlands Hospital Credit: ITV news

A crucial decision will be made today about the future of an Oxfordshire hospital. The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group will consider how many beds the Townlands Hospital will be allocated as part of its redevelopment. Eighteen were initially promised - but it's feared that could be cut to just five.

The decision follows a public consultation. Hundreds of people have taken to the streets to protest at the plans. Health bosses say reducing the number of beds will mean more services can be provided. The new hospital is expected to be ready next year.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: "We have been very clear from the outset of the consultation that the CCG would be listening to what people had to say, reflecting on those views and paying full consideration to them as part of the review and further development of our proposals."

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