AN obstetric unit at a hospital in Oxfordshire could permanently close next year despite years of campaigning to keep it open.

Discussions about the future of a maternity ward at Horton General Hospital in Banbury will come to a close at a meeting with health chiefs next Thursday.

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The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)says it recommends its Board to confirm the permanent closure of the obstetric unit and to confirm a midwife-led unit instead at the Horton into the foreseeable future.

It says the decision would help remove uncertainty for women, families and staff.

But Keep the Horton General campaigners, who have spent years challenging the downgrading of the maternity ward,want the decision to be referred back to the Secretary of State for Health by the new Horton health overview and scrutiny committee.

The meeting starts at 2pm at Oxfordshire CCG, Jubilee House, Oxford.