CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to downgrade services at Banbury’s Horton Hospital will have their day in court.
The legal challenge was mounted jointly by Cherwell district, South Northamptonshire, Stratford-on-Avon district and Banbury town councils, along with campaign group Keep the Horton General as an interested party.
They will put forward their case for a full judicial review at London’s Royal Courts of Justice on December 7 and 8.
The councils and interested parties are seeking a judicial review over Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (OCCG) consultation on changes to services including maternity, critical care and hospital bed use.
They argue the consultation, which took place earlier this year, was “inadequate”, “fundamentally flawed” and “confusing” for people who wanted to have their say on the future of their local hospital.
In August, OCCG agreed to permanently downgrade maternity services at the Horton to a midwife-run unit, close 110 beds across the county’s hospitals and create a central stroke centre in Oxford.
Campaign group Keep the Horton General, KTHG, said it was organising a coach to take supporters to the hearing in London.
Chairman Keith Strangwood urged people to book a place on the bus. He said: “As everyone in the area is aware, the future of our Horton General Hospital is paramount.
“We would like to ensure that our case receives maximum publicity both locally and nationally.”
To prepare for the case the councils have taken “specialist advice” from the legal and medical professions, and put forward sustainable proposals for the future of the Horton Hospital.
The legal move runs in parallel with three separate referrals to the Secretary of State over the process and decision made by the OCCG.
Cherwell District Council declined to comment and said it was now a “court matter”.