A NEW health group is backing a survey to protect the interests of Wantage and Grove residents.

The OX12 Stakeholder Reference Group aims to bring together patients, carers and the public with partners of the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) and ensure public experiences are accounted for.

A survey run by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which also covers the villages surrounding Wantage in the OX12 postcode, launched earlier this week.

It is gathering information to help shape the way services are planned and delivered in the future.

Wantage's hospital has been 'temporarily' closed since July 2016, angering residents.

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Jo Cogswell, director of transformation at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “Understanding how people use services and what is important to their health and wellbeing will help us to ensure that local people have their needs met over the coming years. This is the beginning of the process to help us develop health and care services for people living in this area."

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Julie Mabberley, chair of the Stakeholder reference group, added: "This survey is very important to ensure that we have the voice of the residents as part of the study so we need to encourage everyone to complete it."

The survey is available at http://bit.ly/surveyOX12 Printed copies will be available in public buildings (and at local GP surgeries) throughout OX12.