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Column 10th January 2018

Speak out if you want to see our community hospital staying open

You may remember that this time last year I mentioned that the Government were elected in 2015 on a manifesto which included the following statement:

“we will make sure that if you or your family fall ill, you will always be able to depend on our cherished National Health Service to give you the care you need.”

Last week, the same government announced that hospitals in England were told to delay pre-planned operations and routine outpatient appointments until the end of the month to free up services. So you may get the care you need but not necessarily when wanted or needed.

Conservative MP Dr Wollaston (chair of the Commons Health Committee) said: “Certainly what we have is a system that's running at absolutely full stretch across both health and social care and ... I'm afraid there are serious issues with capacity, far too many bed closures that have happened and probably not enough money that's gone in over a number of years now to keep up with the sheer scale of the increase in demand and complexity."

The Consultation on Oxfordshire NHS services has now been broken into three parts, two of which have been completed.

The first was the change to reduce the number of acute hospital beds, reduce the maternity and acute stroke services provided by the Horton Hospital. The proposals in respect of maternity services have been referred to the Secretary of State by the County Council but nothing has been heard since August.

The second was the recent review of primary care services for which the results have not yet been published, but I believe that services are unlikely to improve and the pressure on GP’s is likely to increase.

The third part is the one we have been waiting for, which is the review of A&E and children’s services and the use of community hospitals including Wantage Community Hospital.

Apart from maternity, Wantage Hospital remains closed. Do you want keep the maternity unit, get physiotherapy back and/ or bring beds back for respite care?

If you still want Wantage Hospital to stay open, would you please contact your MP and local county, district and town or parish councillors and explain to them why it is so important to you that it re-opens for the use of local people, those same local people whose relatives raised the money to build the hospital in the first place.


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