CAMPAIGNERS have sent a final plea to a health body before it makes a decision over the fate of the Horton General Hospital.

Members of Keep the Horton General Campaign Group (KHCG) hope they will be able to persuade health chiefs at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to re-think the downgrade of maternity of services at the Banbury hospital before its decision on August 10.

Chairman of KHCG Keith Strangwood wrote: “We request the downgrade plan be abandoned and that the Horton be maintained as a fully functioning district general hospital.

“In terms of consultant led obstetrics we ask the CCG to seriously question the willingness of the OUH to find a solution to the shortage of obstetricians.

“Trainee obstetricians can apparently spend 20 per cent of their working time away from their designated training hospital and this would allow for each of the trainees currently working at the John Radcliffe Hospital to work two sessions per week at the Horton.”

Since October the Horton has run a midwifery-led unit due to a lack of doctors, with ‘high-risk’ pregnant women and those who face complications in birth taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The CCG will also make a decision on closing 200 acute hospital beds and centralising stroke and critical care on August 10.