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Column 29th August 2018

Could we finally get some answers on Wantage hospital?

I’m sure that you all saw the coverage of the Save Wantage Hospital March and Rally at the end of July.

1,000 people came out on a Sunday afternoon to demonstrate their feelings about the ongoing temporary closure of the Wantage Community Hospital.

In 1927 the local residents raised money to get the hospital built. Since then many of us were born there, worked there or have been cared for there. We don’t want to see it disappear.

After the rally we asked everyone to contact the Oxfordshire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) and the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) and let them know how you feel about the hospital and what you want to happen to it. Details of how to do this are available on a new website: www.SaveWantageHospital.org

We also asked people to attend the next HOSC meeting at 10.00 at County Hall in Oxford on 20 September to show their interest and to attend the Annual Public Meeting of the OCCG at Jubilee House, Oxford, OX4 2LH on 27 September at 18.00.

The Campaign Group will be providing a coach to take people to the HOSC meeting and will leave Wantage at 8.45 and pick up in Grove at 9.00. If you want a seat on the coach then please contact the Save Wantage Hospital Group by email at info@savewantagehospital.org to reserve a seat.

Seats can also be booked in private cars to go to the OCCG meeting by using the same email address.

After the rally we wrote to Councillor Arash Fatemian (HOSC Chairman) and our letter to him was published in the Herald on 15 August.

We think he’s getting the message because we had an immediate response. I don’t have space here to include his reply in full but I’ve extracted the main points below:

“I am well aware of the strength of feeling around Wantage Hospital and it is fantastic to see so many people marching in support of a local facility.

“I am also aware that planned consultation has been somewhat delayed.

“This is a point of frustration and was raised at the last HOSC meeting during our discussions with the CCG and with Oxford Health Foundation Trust (OHFT).

“At the September meeting we expect a concrete plan of action, with timescales and deadlines etc., on plans and consultation for the future of Wantage Hospital.

“I look forward to welcoming you to the meeting and hearing the proposals from OCCG and OHFT.”


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