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Horton maternity referred to independent panel


The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has referred the case surrounding the future of the maternity unit at the Horton General Hospital, Banbury, to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

The Horton unit was downgraded from an obstetric-led led to a midwifery-led unit in 2016, owing to difficulties in recruiting suitably-qualified staff. In its consultation last year, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group proposed making this downgrade permanent, a move which was challengned in the High Court by Cherwell District Council and other parties.

Although the legal challenge has been dismissed, the Secretary of State has now referred the case to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, which must make a decion by February 9. 

The full text of Mr Hunt's announcement is available by clicking on the document below.