Oxfordshire maternity services - an update

Date: 14 June 2019

Sleeping baby

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) is today sharing an update on a review of options for the future of maternity services in the county that will help in making decisions later this year.

A panel of hospital and primary care clinicians from Oxfordshire, NHS managers, local campaigners and women’s representatives have been ‘scoring’ a number of possible options for how and where maternity services could be provided - with special focus on the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

The two top scoring options are within 0.11 points of each other; the top scoring option is for two obstetric units in Oxfordshire – one
 in Oxford and one in Banbury - each with an alongside Midwifery Led Unit (MLU) – this option scored 243.7. The option coming a close second is the current model of one obstetric unit in Oxford and a standalone MLU in Banbury – this option scored 243.59. Both these options also include the standalone MLUs in Chipping Norton, Wantage and Wallingford. There were 10 other options considered that scored lower.

Louise Patten, chief 
executive at OCCG, said: "This process has been thorough, involving people from the local community together with experienced maternity clinicians. Together they have considered all possible options against a wide a range of different criteria. These included patient experience, choice and travel as well as clinical outcomes and workforce.

 "We have had external expertise to support this work and to ensure that all voices were heard. Everyone involved brought insight from different perspectives. Stakeholders and panel members shared their views and also listened carefully to each other. As a result, they were all prepared to persuade others of their strongly felt case, but also to compromise in an effort to seek a consensus.

"I would like to thank everyone who has given up their time to do this important work so constructively. 

"This options appraisal process is just one part of a number of pieces of work we have done to gather information about maternity services at the Horton and our local area. 
We have shared this work with local stakeholders and will also be sharing them with the Horton HOSC at the next meeting.

 OCCG will be using the options appraisal information together with the results of the survey about women's experiences of maternity services, information about expected  population growth, workforce issues and travel and transport when making final decisions later this year.

The obstetric unit at the Horton General Hospital was temporarily closed on safety grounds in October 2016 because of long term difficulties in recruiting suitably qualified doctors.

OCCG has been working with key stakeholders and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to respond to the recommendations by Secretary of State in relation to the closure and the future of services.


  • Summary:

    Oxfordshire maternity services options 

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    14 June 2019