CAMPAIGNERS are fighting to save their town’s maternity unit.
Chipping Norton residents are opposing a shake up of services which could see the closure of the Cotswold Maternity Unit at Chipping Norton War Memorial Community Hospital.
Closure would mean expectant mothers would need to travel to Horton General Hospital in Banbury 13 miles away, which is facing a downgrade to a Midwifery Led Unit or the John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington, 21 miles away.
There are two options for midwife-led units in North Oxfordshire given in a consultation document produced by the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning group.
One option would see two Midwife Led Units (MLU) in North Oxfordshire. One in Banbury and the current unit in Chipping Norton.
The second option would see one MLU in North Oxfordshire which would be at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury and entail the closure of the Cotswold MLU in Chipping Norton.
And a meeting will take place tonight Thursday (March 9) in Chipping Norton from 6pm until 8pm at Saint Mary the Virgin Church to discuss the first phase of the consultation on proposals including planned care at the Horton General in Banbury, acute stroke services in Oxfordshire, critical care at the Horton General and maternity services in North Oxfordshire.
The future of community hospitals, including the midwife led units will be discussed later in the year.
More than 250 people have now signed the petition to Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to defend Chipping Norton’s NHS services
Long standing Chipping Norton town councillor Eve Coles and West Oxon district councillor Geoff Saul were joined by Labour Party members from Chipping Norton, Church Enstone and Shrivenham to campaign against health cuts in the area.
Cllr Saul said: “Residents particularly do not want to lose the maternity unit as the town has a long tradition of having a maternity unit in the town, to lose it would be a great shame.
“It is an exceptionally well run unit.
“I would urge people to keep supporting their NHS services.
“The last consultation meeting we had in Chipping Norton was absolutely packed, we had around 500 people who made it quite excruciating for the CCG.”
A spokesman for Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Community hospitals in Oxfordshire will form part of the second phase of the NHS’s Big Health and Care consultation expected to start later this year.
“There are currently no proposals for this part of the consultation.
“The event in Chipping Norton on 9 March is the second public consultation event in the town as part of the first phase of the consultation where people can share their views on proposals for maternity and planned and critical care at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, as well as stroke services and hospital beds across Oxfordshire.”
People can book a place at the consultation meeting by calling 01865 334638 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the proposals for first phase of the consultation, log on to consult.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk/consult.ti/BigconsultationPhase1/consultationHome