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Wantage residents fear health services not keeping up with expansion

Healthwatch Oxfordshire has revealed that residents of Wantage and Grove are worried that local health services are not keeping up with the increasing numbers of new houses in the area.

The independent health and social care watchdog spent three weeks in Wantage, gathering people’s experiences of using services in the area. Concern over the impact of the rapid expansion of housing development on access to GP services was a recurring theme.

Other themes discovered by Healthwatch Oxfordshire included:

  1. Concern about insufficient provision at the Wantage Health Centre on Mably Way;
  2. A reduction of public transport;
  3. The future of Wantage Community Hospital, which has been closed for two years owing to a problem with Legionella in the pipework, and
  4. GPs not referring children to mental health services quick enough, with long waits when they do.
As a result of these findings, Healthwatch Oxfordshire has made a number of recommendations, including:
  1. Improved communication between Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the people of Wantage about the expansion of the health centre;
  2. An open dialogue between Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the community about the closure of the community hospital;
  3. Increased mental health awareness training for GPs;
  4. When planning local health, social care services, and additional housing, authorities should consider the travel and transport needs of the local community including access to public transport and supporting local community transport schemes.
Rosalind Pearce, Executive Director of Healthwatch Oxfordshire, said: “Wantage and Grove are clearly expanding very quickly, and residents want an assurance that their services are going to be able to continue to meet their needs.
“In particular, people feel a great sense of ownership over the community hospital, and they are entitled to more transparency concerning the decisions being made about this facility.”

The Wantage & Grove Report 2018 is available to read on the Healthwatch Oxfordshire website at https://healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk/our-reports/healthwatch-oxfordshire-reports/

To see more information about Wantage Hospital, see our special page: Wantage Community Hospital.

Health Services in Oxfordshire are managed by a number of different organisations including:

  • Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) is the organisation that plans, buys and oversees health services for more than 700,000 people living in Oxfordshire. www.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk
  • Oxfordshire County Council is the organisation that funds and manages Health and Social Care in Oxfordshire. www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/social-and-health-care
  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust provides physical, mental health and social care for people of all ages across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset. They are responsible for Community Hospitals, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapies, Mental Health Services, District Nurses. www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/
  • Oxford University Hospitals Trust is made up of four hospitals - the John Radcliffe , Churchill, Horton General and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. www.ouh.nhs.uk
  • Oxfordshire Primary Care Commissioning Committee (OPCCC) which is a committee of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) Board funds GP services on our behalf
  • The Health and Wellbeing Board is a partnership between local government and the NHS and has been set up to co-ordinate all of these organisations to improve everyone’s health and wellbeing.
  • The Health Oversight and Scrutiny Committee is a County Council Committee set up to scrutinise these organisations and ensure that they work together to improve everyone’s health and wellbeing.

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