Thursday, 13 December 2018

My first priority is Townlands - Howell

JOHN HOWELL says his first job now he has been re-elected as MP for Henley is to ensure a ?good outcome? for Townlands Hospital.

JOHN HOWELL says his first job now he has been re-elected as MP for Henley is to ensure a ?good outcome? for Townlands Hospital.

The Conservative retained his seat this morning (Friday) with a majority of more than 25,000 votes, the highest margin since he was first elected in 2008.

Mr Howell told the Henley Standard that he will continue to work to ensure that next week?s consultation on services at the new hospital will achieve the ?best outcome? for residents.

He said: ?The first thing I want to deliver is a good outcome for Townlands Hospital. I will continue to work very hard so that the consultation takes place and that we get the best outcome for Henley."

The consultation will include plans to reduce the number of beds at the new hospital.

The Henley Standard exclusively revealed last month that the total could be cut from 18 to around five.

The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said that this would help improve services at the new £16million ?health campus?.

Chief executive David Smith had previously argued the proposed cut did not represent ?significant change?, so public consultation would not be necessary.

But Mr Howell insisted there should be consultation and won the support of health minister Jeremy Hunt.

The commissioning group accepted the MP?s argument following talks with Mr Howell, Yvonne Constance, chairwoman of Oxfordshire County Council?s joint health overview and scrutiny committee, and Henley town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith.

The consultation is expected to begin early next week.

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