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David Smith, Chief Executive at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG)

A Message from the Chief Executive at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) 

Thank you to everyone who shared their views on our proposals for services at the new Townlands Hospital in Henley on Thames. We have listened very carefully to all your helpful feedback during the five week consultation and are reflecting on the points made as part of the review of our plans.

The next step is for OCCG Governing Body to consider a final recommendation on the proposed services changes on 30 July. I will, of course, keep you fully informed of the Governing Body’s decision.

I am pleased with the preparations for the roll out of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund pilot projects, to help improve patient care in Oxfordshire. We have started to issue a regular newsletter to keep you up to date on the various projects and you can read more on this in OCCG Connect.

You might be aware that we celebrated the official opening of Bicester Community Hospital earlier this month. It was a happy occasion with local people, patients and staff taking part. I’m sure the new hospital will be a valuable hub for patient care in the heart of the community.

You are welcome to join us at our next Governing Body meeting in Banbury on 30 July (9am-12.45pm) in the Main Hall, Town Hall Buildings, Banbury, OX16 5QB.

Townlands Hospital – thanks for your Feedback

townlandTownlands – Thank you for Sharing Your Views

A thank you to everyone who responded to our consultation on the proposed service changes at Townlands Hospital in Henley on Thames. We received 361 responses from local residents and heard from many people at public events during the five week consultation period.

Our proposals are to provide more services at Townlands and to introduce a new model of care which includes a Rapid Access Care Unit (RACU). Your feedback will help us to reflect on which areas in our proposals need further development or clarification before a final recommendation is presented to OCCG Governing Body on 30 July 2015. You can read more here

GPs Pilot Schemes Underway

Two pilot projects offering different and more flexible access to care services for patients in Oxfordshire started this month following a successful bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund earlier this year.

The Early Home Visiting Support service began in June in North Oxfordshire, servicing 11 practices and a population of 104,902 people. The service is now also underway in the North East of the county, supporting 10 practices and 85,000 patients. In its first six weeks clinicians visited 138 patients saving time for GPs and providing patients with a more responsive service.

Email consultations have also begun at two practices in Abingdon with good feedback received from patients. The first person to have an email consultation was a 90 year old patient who found the service very helpful. In the first two weeks 40 routine and 24 urgent email consultations were conducted, with 80 per cent of patients dealt with without the need to attend surgeries.

These are two of a range of projects being tested this year which include: Neighbourhood Access Hubs, Early Home Visiting Support, Care Navigators, Email Consultations and an online project offering a Local Health website. All schemes will be rolled out over the summer.

At the end of the year, the pilot projects will be evaluated by primary care specialists at the University of Oxford, and their impact analysed by GPs and OCCG to ensure the lessons learned can be applied across the county.

You can read more about the schemes in the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund News which will be issued on a regular basis by OCCG to keep you up to date on how the GP projects are progressing – see here to read the first issue

Bicester Community Hospital Officially Opens

OCCG is delighted that patients, staff and volunteers took part in the official opening of Bicester’s Community Hospital on 1 July. Patients have been looked after in the new hospital since it opened in December 2014.

Dr Richard Stephenson, a retired local GP, unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. He worked in Bicester as a family doctor for 33 years and also helped to improve services at the former community hospital which stood in the town for over 100 years.

While unveiling the plaque he said: ‘Today our focus is on the wonderful support the people of Bicester have given over the years to the hospital and how much they appreciate the service.’

The new hospital is equipped with modern facilities including a first aid unit, X-Ray and physiotherapy suites, outpatient and the GP out-of-hours service. There are also 12 in-patient rooms each with access to a central garden. Clinical services are provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Dr Stephen Attwood, Clinical Director, North East Locality said: ‘This has been a long journey and I want to thank everyone for being part of it. Working with our partner organisations on this development has been a great achievement.’

Stephen added: ‘The new building is a modern facility for the people of Bicester and the surrounding area. The services for patients, their families and carers are wonderful. The environment is very fresh and spacious – we are truly delivering modernised healthcare.’

The procurement of the new hospital was agreed in 2011 by predecessor NHS organisations, including the former Oxfordshire PCT and South Central Strategic Health Authority. A competitive process saw Kajima Partnerships selected as the preferred development bidder, with Balfour Beatty as builders and FES FM as facilities managers.

The project was then led by OCCG and NHS Property Services when they came into existence in April 2013. Work began on-site in June 2013 and was completed in the autumn of 2014.

For more information contact Julie-Anne Howe, Locality Co-ordinator email:


Information About the Locality

There are 10 GP practices in the Locality with a population of just over 78,000. The locality Clinical Director is Dr Stephen Attwood, who is supported by Dr Will O’Gorman.

Join Us in Banbury for the Next Governing Body Meeting

The next OCCG Governing Body meeting will take place on Thursday, 30 July 2015 from 9am to 12.45pm at Main Hall, Town Hall Buildings, Banbury OX16 5QB.

You can submit a question beforehand to: or write to OCCG Business Manager, Jubilee House, 5510 John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park, Oxford, OX4 2LH.

For more details about our Governing Body meetings please visit the OCCG Governing Body pages here

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