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THE proposal to force patients to community hospitals that are not near their homes seems like a necessary evil to tackle our chronic bed-blocking crisis.

After all, it appears nothing else has worked.

For years now we have been demanding progress from officials over the large number of people well enough to be discharged who are stuck in our acute hospitals because there is nowhere for them to go.

The NHS and Oxfordshire County Council have regularly come up with plans they hoped would see numbers decrease, but none have succeeded.

And so they must start looking at alternatives that will not be popular. For the sake of the overall health system, we have to use all the resources available.

And if that means someone from Witney has to spend some time in a community hospital elsewhere, so be it.

However, it cannot be a sustainable permanent scheme. It has to be some short-term pain while our officials come up with solutions for the long-term gain.