CALLS for an extra £1.5 million to create a plan to improve the Horton General Hospital have been put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis and Cherwell District Councillor Andrew McHugh met with Sajid Javid yesterday to request the seed funding.

It would be used to produce a comprehensive business plan for the development and upgrading of the Banbury hospital, which is run by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH).

Mr McHugh said ‘The Chancellor appeared sympathetic to our request.

"Victoria and I explained the importance of the Horton to the residents of not only North Oxfordshire but also South Northamptonshire and South Warwickshire."

It comes after Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)'s board confirmed downgrading maternity services at the Horton in September.

ALSO READ: Cherwell District Council won't give up fight for Horton Hospital

In a district council meeting last week however, Mr McHugh put forward a motion proposing the council to 'deplore' the decision, which was approved.

Ms Prentis also campaigned against the decision and called a recommendation to close the obstetric unit and its replacement with a midwifery-led unit for the foreseeable future ‘extremely disappointing’.

The Conservative MP said: "Both The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Chancellor have now heard our case for the Horton.

"Regenerating the Horton makes good sense for the whole of Oxfordshire by taking the pressure off the JR. This is a difficult time in Parliament but I will keep on the pressure to get a decision on this funding as soon as possible."

MPs voted for a general election on Tuesday night, which is set to take place on December 12. The NHS has already come to the forefront of campaigning, with pledges from all major parties for more funding for the health service.