Disappointment as Trust votes to downgrade hospital's maternity services

The decision has been made to downgrade maternity services at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury. The Trust says it can't recruit enough obstetricians to run the unit safely. The decision comes despite widespread protests against the proposals. Some expectant mothers will now have to travel to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, more than twenty miles away.

Live updates

MP slams decision to downgrade maternity unit

Victoria Prentis MP has been working alongside campaigners Credit: Twitter: Victoria Prentis

The MP for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis, has voiced her disappointment about the decision to downgrade Horton General Hospital's maternity unit.

The MP had been working alongside campaigners to prevent the downgrade of vital Horton services. She says she is "disappointed that this decision has been taken with no public consultation".

Here is her statement:

I am really sorry to hear that the Board has voted to temporarily downgrade the maternity unit. I hope that this is only a very short term plan and maternity will return to a full consultant-led unit as soon as possible.

Personally, I am very worried about the contingency arrangements and will continue to put pressure on the Trust for answers. I will do all I can to offer assistance to worried constituents and expectant mothers during this time.

I am also disappointed that this decision has been taken with no public consultation and no discussions have been had with neighbouring Members of Parliament, whose constituents will also be affected by these changes. We only found out about the contingency plan at the end of July, and have not seen any evidence or risk assessments to understand the impact the suspension may have. I firmly believe the Trust could have done more to recruit enough consultants. I really hope this decision is short term and the recruitment process will continue so that a full service can resume as soon as possible. In the meantime, I will continue to work with colleagues and local elected officials and do all that I can to secure the future of our local hospital.”

– Victoria Prentis MP for North Oxfordshire

Maternity services to be downgraded

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s board of directors has voted to downgrade the Horton General Hospital maternity service to a midwife-only unit.

The decision comes despite months of protests by thousands of campaigners wanting to keep the maternity services. They say expectant mothers will now have to travel to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, more than 20 miles away and a journey of up to 45 minutes.

The Trust says it can't recruit enough obstetricians to run the unit safely.

Advertisement

Decision day for hospital's maternity services

Thousands of people have joined the campaign to save the Horton Hospital's maternity services Credit: ITV News Meridian

It's decision day for an Oxfordshire hospital, where maternity services could be downgraded.

The Trust which runs Horton General in Banbury says it can't recruit enough obstetricians to run the unit safely and will decide whether or not to suspend services from the end of September.

If the Horton is downgraded from consultant-led to midwife-led, expectant mums will be transferred to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, about 45 minutes away.

The plans have caused widespread protests, with thousands of people campaigning to save the services.

The Trust is trying very hard to fill these posts. At our meeting we will need to look at the numbers of obstetric middle grade doctors we will have available to us at the Horton in October and take a decision with patient safety in mind."

– Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive
Back to top