Campaigners are celebrating after helping to secure the future of a district hospital in North Oxfordshire after the Health Secretary rejected plans to move vital services.
The Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust planned to transfer maternity and children’s services from Horton General Hospital in Banbury to Oxford.
But the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), which advises the Government on controversial NHS changes, said it did not believe the plans would “provide an accessible or improved service to the people of North Oxfordshire or surrounding areas”.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said he “accepted in full” the IRP’s recommendations, and that the proposals should be shelved.
A public campaign, supported by Oxfordshire County Council, had previously seen protesters form a human chain around the hospital and march through the town.
County Council leader Keith Mitchell said: “This is terrific news. We have fought hard for the people of Banbury and north Oxfordshire and this has paid off. I am delighted that we have been successful in winning this case.”
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