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NHS plans roadshows to explain why it must cut spending in Oxfordshire
HEALTH bosses have announced a series of public meetings about changes they need to make to services as they slash budgets.
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is to host six events to get staff and patients’ views and is urging people to come along.
The move comes after a similar series of talks was held by Oxfordshire County Council as it cuts its own budget by tens of millions of pounds.
The GP-led group is in charge of most county NHS funding decisions and mustcut £25m this year to balance its £650m budget.
Chief executive Stephen Richards, said: “We can no longer continue providing services in the way we have done in the past.
“Services need to change and adapt to our growing population, NHS staff need to move with the times, patients and local people need to use services in the most appropriate way for their needs.”
The events are part of what officials say is a national ‘call to action’ by NHS England around the future of the NHS, which has moved to provide more services in the community instead of hospitals.
Mr Richards said: “These events will give us the chance to have open and honest conversations with the people who use and run our services in Oxfordshire.”
The authority came into being on April 1 under a re-organisation of the NHS by the Government.
It has been beset with problems since then, such as bed blocking and pressures on accident and emergency departments and has warned it could be £11.1m in debt at the end of the financial year because payments for hospital work are more than expected.
Last week the Oxford Mail reported that Dr Richards is to give up the management side of his role because of its demands.
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: “It is crucial this is genuine consultation and there is accurate information and options available.”
The Labour MP urged the OCCG to hold more than one of the events in the evening.
The NHS in England is spending £95.6bn this year and has to cut £20bn by 2015.
Conservative Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry said Oxfordshire’s ageing population and new technology are major pressures.
Oxon Keep Our NHS Public chairman Ken Williamson: “This is going to be window dressing. It is still important for people to go to understand how things are presented.”
Venues are yet to be to be confirmed:
- Wantage, November 19, 1pm to 5pm
- Witney, November 20, 6.30pm to 9.30pm
- Oxford, November 21, 9am to noon
- Banbury, December 3, 1pm to 5pm
- Bicester, December 5, 9am to 1pm
- Wallingford, December 19, 9am to 1pm
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