Friday, 30 July 2021

Townlands decision 'could be further delayed'

A decision on the future of Townlands Hospital is likely to be delayed for at least two months

A decision on the future of Townlands Hospital is likely to be delayed for at least two months.

The board of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group are due to meet on Thursday to consider the results of a consultation into the model of care used at the new hospital.

But the board have been asked to delay a final decision in order to "take the opportunity for further engagement with stakeholders". The decision will not be made before the board next meeting on September 24.

The commissioning group has proposed expanding the rapid access care unit at the new hospital to 8am to 8pm seven days a week following complaints. The unit was originally due to be open just three days each week.

The group will also look at its transition plan for between when the new hospital is built and the old one demolished. There were concerns over nursing, bed provision and parking spaces during that time.

Henley MP John Howell, who had numerous meetings and discussions with the group, said the changes were "major achievements" in getting the best possible model for the hospital.

He said: "I've been engaged with the commissioning group, working quietly and diplomatically for some time.

"These are achievements I've got out of the representations I've made by meeting with the group. I'm very pleased that they have listened and taken on board those representations.

"These are major achievements in developing our hospital."

Residents were originally promised 18 beds at the new hospital, replacing the 14 currently in the Peppard ward which will be demolished in November. The latest plans are for five beds, which will be "bought" from the neighbouring Orders of St John care home, alongside the next-day rapid access care unit.

GPs, town councillors and residents in Henley have spoken out against the new plans. More than 3,000 people signed the Henley Standard's Save Our Beds petition, while more than 2,000 took part in a march around the town on Saturday, July 11.

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