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Hospital Trust’s cost reduction plans concern

West Oxfordshire District councillors have expressed grave concerns about the plans outlined in the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust's Performance Improvement and Cost Reduction
Programme.

Part of the Trust's proposal is to move specialist services away from the Horton Hospital in Banbury to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The proposals were not supported and the services that would be affected include gynaecology, obstetrics, paediatrics and overnight surgery. Councillors felt these proposals were being driven purely by the need to make financial savings rather than improvements for patients.

Cllr Hilary Biles, Cabinet Member for Health said, “Travelling times in an emergency from the Horton Hospital to the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford are unacceptable and would be detrimental to patient care.”

“Centralising services on Oxford are contradictory to the Government's paper “patient choice”, which seeks to deliver services closer to people.”

Six representatives of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, including the Chairman, had attended the Council's Overview and Scrutiny meeting. They presented their paper saying that services could be improved whilst simultaneously reducing costs. They said that even if the consultation met with an overwhelming negative response, the Trust would need to make savings in any event.

Councillors commented that Oxfordshire was the lowest funded region in the South East, a position which did not recognise the specific requirements of a predominantly rural area.

Posted : 26/07/2006 16:16:40

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