Health chiefs have admitted they must ‘learn from experience’ following the heavily criticised first phase of a county-wide service overhaul.
Bosses conceded they must work in a ‘very different way’ on future changes after phase one of the Oxfordshire Transformation Plan introduced a raft of changes.
The results from a major consultation, published last summer, led to bed closures across the county and the permanent downgrading of maternity services at Banbury’s Horton General Hospital.
A joint statement from system leaders across the NHS in Oxfordshire said: “The NHS has reflected on the experience of running phase one of the Oxfordshire Transformation Programme.
“We understand that we need to learn from the experience and approach the improvement of local services in a very different manner.”
Health experts also talked about ‘breaking down organisational barriers’ to adopt a ‘more integrated approach’ following criticism from the health regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
Much improved communication with residents has been promised for the next phase as part of an ‘over-arching’ strategy to encompass all services and providers.
The statement added: “We understand that the best service improvements are those where patients, the wider public and key stakeholders work together to co-design services.
“We need to break down organisational barriers and work in a much more integrated way to improve care for residents and patients.
“We therefore recognise the need to progress with the next phase in a very different way.
“We need to listen to local people and understand better at local level how to work in a more integrated way to improve care for residents and patients in Oxfordshire.”
More details will be revealed in due course.
Campaign group Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public has once again called for a single, full consultation instead of the current two-phase format.
A spokesperson said: “We have always said that having two consultations is wrong.
“Splitting the Horton Hospital maternity unit downgrade from changes to the paediatric and A&E wards enables the authorities to conceal their strategy of an overall downgrade of the Horton. Salami-style cuts are still cuts.”
Work on phase two is ongoing.