Image of baby

Our hospital provides vital services to Banbury's growing population.

We're about to lose those services.

What are YOU going to do about it?


Please write to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel - every letter counts

It's our last chance to save our services at the Horton. The proposals have been referred to the Secretary of State for Health, who's referred them to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel for consideration.

Please take a few minutes to write to them explaining why it is so important to keep our services in Banbury.

The IRP have set up a dedicated Horton email address:

Or, you can write to the IRP at:

Independent Reconfiguration Panel
Kierran Cross
First Floor
11 The Strand
London WC2N 5HR

Or call them on 0800 023 4680

They have to report to the Health Secretary on 18 February 2008 so please write well before then to give them time to take your views into account.

We're not doing a standard letter this time because individual letters, however short, count so much more. Common sense tells us that the new proposals will result in tragically unnecessary deaths; and we're sure everyone will have a personal reason why they believe services should be maintained. We'd love you to tell the IRP your reasons.

Here are some thoughts which may add weight to your letter:

  • All 86 local GPs concluded the original proposals were "unsafe and inhumane" - and the vast majority of local GPs concluded the "revised" proposals were not significantly different to the original
  • The Stakeholder Panel, set up by the Trust to review the revised proposals, concluded "The proposals represent a significant downgrading of access to services and a worsening of choice for women and children in the Banbury area"
  • The Horton gained 24 hour childrens services and consultant-led maternity decades ago, after a tragic death occurred. All that has changed since then is the population has grown and traffic has worsened. So how can it be safe to remove these services?
  • If the proposals go ahead, the Horton will be one of the biggest midwife led units in the country, and also one of the furthest away from consultant support.
  • The shortening of specialist training, at the same time as the full introduction of European Working Time Directive and blocking of training posts to non EU graduates are at the root of the problem, which will destroy many small general hospitals like the Horton.
  • Nationally training needs are being put before service delivery.
  • The government has the power to remove the above restrictions and save small general hospitals across the country.
  • Independent studies have shown that it could take up to 5 hours to transfer a sick child from Banbury to the JR
  • An ambulance takes around 40 minutes door to door. That's a guaranteed 40 minutes delay to life saving treatment
  • 160 women per year are expected to be put through the trauma of ambulance transfer when something goes wrong during labour. An inter-unit transfer takes on average, 2.8 hours
  • Although the Trust deny it, we fear that the removal of obstetric and 24 hour paediatric services will inevitably lead to the running down of other services, such as A&E, in the future
  • Ex midwife and practising lawyer for children brain-damaged at birth, Catherine Hopkins, has predicted “catastrophic consequences if downgrading (of maternity and children’s) services goes ahead.”
  • Emeritus Professor Kenneth Holt confirmed that “Running down existing maternity and neonatal services is (I believe) a retrograde step and one that could lead to disasters.”

Please take the time to write - because every letter counts.


Put up a leaflet
Read the consultation document
Join our facebook group

Sign up to Keep Our NHS Public
Give us ammunition
What else can you contribute?
Pledge your support
Talk about it
Any ideas?

Put up a leaflet
In your school, workplace, church, mosque, or nursery, to encourage others to write.

Read the consultation document
The consultation period has been extended due to the complexity and massive opposition, and now ends on 13 October. You can download the consultation document below. You should read it because you need to comment on it to be part of the consultation exercise. But read between the lines - and remember the source.

Whatever they are saying about "improvements" to services - they are talking about improvements for Oxfordshire as a whole, not the Banbury area. With the exception of elder care, there is no way any of these proposals are improvements to people in North Oxfordshire, South Warks or South Northants. You WILL see a reduction in the way YOUR heath care is delivered.

There are many errors in the report, some of which are listed below. Please note that claims that womens' and childrens' services are not clinically sustainable are highly suspect as there are reports that refute this - but the ORH Trust will not recognise them in this consultation.

Part 2 - The Horton Hospital
Part 1 - Efficiency and Performance (covers the whole trust)

Errors in the consultation document so far (We're sure there's more and will list them as soon as we can back up what common sense tells us is wrong)

Join our facebook group
Leave messages for other supporters, ask questions, show your support. Get your friends to join up too.

Sign up to the national campaign
We're supporting the national campaign group "Keep Our NHS Public".
Their website is The same fight is being carried on all over the country. We strongly believe that a national effort is needed, to change goverment policy. Why not add your name to their list of supporters, or join their regional group?

Oxfordshire group:
Dr Helen Groom

Give us ammunition

Metaphorical ammunition, that is.

The trust's next proposals will probably rely on many of the same statistics that they tried to reply on for the first consultation. Perhaps you have access to figures that prove there will be a greater population increase, or a higher birth rate, than the Trust are assuming? Maybe you know of research that suggest the Trust's proposals or principles are unsound. Any piece of information could be the key - please let us know what you know.

What skills can you contribute to the campaign?
Can you write a letter?
Can you offer printing services?
Can you supply banners or signs?
Can you lend us a sound system?
Can you translate this site into Polish, Hindi, or any other language widely spoken in Banbury to help us spread the message further?
Can you shake a bucket?
Have you got a story so moving it will cause the silent majority to rise up in protest against the cuts?
Are you someone fighting the same fight in Warwickshire, Northamptonshire or further afield? Let us know what you are doing.

If you are one of the thousands of people the Horton has been there for, or if you ever expect to use it in the future - it is your duty to do something before the heart is ripped out of our hospital.

You can do something. I did. I wasn't part of the campaign the day the story broke, but it made me so angry I offered to create a website for the campaign - and here it is. So what can you offer?

Talk about it
It hurts every time we say to someone, "Will you be at the Horton meeting?" and they say "Why? Is something wrong?". Lots of people don't read the papers, or work in other towns. These people may not know there's a threat, unless you tell them about it. Our campaign has acheived so much - we've effectively forced the Trust back to the drawing board - so we've got a lot to be proud of.

Any ideas?
If you have any ideas about what we should be doing, please contact us giving a phone number if appropriate

Thank you



Horton victory - everything about our successful campaign

What can I do?

What's under threat?

What we're doing about it

Did you know...?

Letters, quotes and reports

Previous events & press releases

Sample letters

Download leaflet

Contact us

External links