Many of you will be aware that, despite significant opposition from concerned residents and local authorities, the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group took the decision on Thursday 10th August to make permanent the temporary downgrading of obstetrics services at the Horton General Hospital to a midwife led unit. I know that many people will be disappointed by this decision, not least those in South Northamptonshire who did not form part of the Board's deliberations.
The Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee has asked the Secretary of State for Health to refer this decision to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. This joins the two existing referrals before the Secretary of State for consideration, as well as the ongoing judicial review appeal by the four councils.
I have written to the Chief Executive of the CCG, David Smith, to make clear that the decisions taken at the Board meeting should not in any way be implemented until full consideration has been given to the referrals and the judicial review. You can read a copy of my letter here.
You can also read a letter that my colleagues Victoria Prentis MP (Banbury), Robert Courts MP (Witney) and Nadhim Zahawi MP (Stratford-upon-Avon) have sent to David Smith along similar lines.