Tuesday, 03 August 2021

Announcement on services at Townlands delayed again

AN announcement on the services to be provided at the new Townlands Hospital in Henley has

AN announcement on the services to be provided at the new Townlands Hospital in Henley has been delayed again.

The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group was due to unveil its proposals last week but has now put this back to March 26. It had already delayed the announcement a week.

Town councillor Ian Reissmann told a meeting of the Townlands Steering Group, which he chairs: “The (commissioning) group is not ready to put their options in front of us at a public meeting.

“They are still drawing them up and it would be unhelpful to provide a presentation when the plans are incomplete. It’s a shame but I think it’s important that the options they are discussing are given time to get right and aren’t given prematurely.”

The delays come after the Henley Standard revealed that the Sue Ryder hospice would no longer be moving from Nettlebed to the top floor of the new hospital currently being built.

Councillor Reissmann insisted that Sue Ryder’s move to Townlands had been “neither ruled in nor ruled out” and that discussions were continuing.

Geoff Probert, a member of the steering group, asked whether there would still be end-of-life care at Townlands, regardless of who provided it.

Cllr Reissmann replied: “Other options would be other providers providing palliative care.

“The service at Nettlebed is regarded with a lot of fondness and we wouldn’t want to close that facility. There is a need for more than just that one Sue Ryder home.

“They are considering at the moment if they can provide those services on their premises. We have the ability to talk to the group and say that Sue Ryder would be very popular.”

Robert Aitken, of Bix and Assendon Parish Council, asked whether the announcement would be a fait accompli or part of a consultation process. Cllr Reissmann replied: “It depends how the options work out. As you know, the Sue Ryder position is in question. If there are significant differences then consultation will be necessary but it depends on what they say. It is quite a jigsaw.”

In December, Sue Ryder said: “We have been in ongoing discussions with Oxfordshire CCG and NHS Property Services about joining the Townlands site for more than two years.

“Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach an agreement on a number of key areas.”

This week, a spokeswoman for the charity said: “I can confirm that our position has not changed from last year.”

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