Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Townlands leadership bid fails

A BID by the chairman of the Townlands Steering Group to lead the hospital’s new scrutiny group has been turned down

A BID by the chairman of the Townlands Steering Group to lead the hospital’s new scrutiny group has been turned down.

Ian Reissmann, who is also a Henley town councillor, applied for the post of chairman of the Townlands Stakeholders Reference Group, which was formed by the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group in September to oversee the £10 million hospital.

The reference group has previously been branded “tokenistic” by campaigners, adding that the commissioning group, which is in charge of services at the new hospital, has failed to engage with the community.

The commissioning group agreed to replace former reference group chairwoman Corinne Yates, its head of strategic communications and engagement, with an independent candidate in February.

Cllr Reissmann says he applied after growing frustrated at the group’s failure to appoint the new chairman but was told he would not be considered as he “wasn’t independent”.



He said: “They still haven’t managed to hire anyone. They did interview someone, a Buckinghamshire councillor with no connection to Townlands or the area at all, but she wasn’t found acceptable either.”

Last month, the Henley Standard revealed that the hospital’s new rapid access care unit had been delayed for a fourth time because there have been no applications for the role of clinical lead.

The unit, which will provide services including antibiotic treatment and transfusions, was originally supposed to open in December last year.

The commissioning group blamed the problem on a national shortage of doctors and is considering a temporary alternative, which could include the unit being run by a nursing team.

Cllr Reissmann says the unit is among the items to be discussed at the next steering group meeting last night.

He said: “At the meeting we will talk about the care unit, the independent chair and whether the reference group is doing a good job.”



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