CONTROVERSIAL plans to move Chipping Norton's First Aid Unit (FAU) from the community hospital to nearby health centre will be discussed at a public meeting.

People can view the new proposed location on October 23 at the Russell Way health centre from 7pm and discuss the move with staff and doctors.

The FAU, which is run by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), has been providing care for minor injuries at the hospital since 2011.

It delivers care Monday to Friday 5pm to 9pm and at weekends and bank holidays 10am to 9pm.

Health bosses say the relocation will help make the service more efficient. Campaigners, however, fear the move could be the 'thin end of the wedge' and threaten the future of the community hospital. Chipping Norton Hospital League of Friends say it would represent a 'further erosion of the hospital-based services' in the town.

READ AGAIN: Fears for future of community hospital over first aid unit move

John Grantham, former town and district councillor who has been a campaigner for the hospital for years, explained: “This could just be the thin end of the wedge because as overheads get spread across fewer services it will be argued the hospital has become uneconomic.”

Diane Hedges, Chief Operating Officer at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said : “We asked SCAS to work with the practice to give us an integrated solution that would benefit patients.

"The proposed move is welcome and has the support of the clinicians at SCAS and the health centre."

She added: "This relocation is required under national NHS guidance intended to reduce the variation of services across the country offering walk-in urgent care. We are pleased to see that those providing these services are enthusiastic to explore all possible opportunities for improving care for patients which is what is most important.”