Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Henley marches for hospital beds on July 11

A march through Henley in support of the Save Our Beds campaign will take place on Saturday, July 11.

A march through Henley in support of the Save Our Beds campaign will take place on Saturday, July 11.

Councillors and GPs are among those who will take to the streets in protest at proposals by health chiefs to cut the number of beds at the new Townlands hospital to just five.

Mayor Lorraine Hillier today (Tuesday) confirmed that road closures had been agreed for the march, which will set off from Market Place at 10am.

The announcement comes after residents called for stronger action if the Oxfordshire clinical commissioning group did not change its plans for the £16 million "health campus".

It had originally proposed to have 18 beds at the hospital, four more than on the existing Peppard ward, but now wants to "buy" five at a care home to be built next to the hospital.

The beds would be replaced by a next-day "rapid access care unit" in order for patients to be treated at home where possible.

A consultation by the commissioning group on the current proposals ended on June 15 with the results due to be presented to the board at a meeting on July 30.

An overview of the consultation process, along with some initial findings, will also be presented to Oxfordshire County Council's joint health overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday.

Protesters will march along Bell Street, New Street, Thameside and Hart Street before returning to the town hall for speeches. The march should be finished by 11.30am.

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