RESIDENTS are fighting plans to move their hospital's first aid unit to a new location.

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) announced this week that Chipping Norton first aid unit would be moving ‘across a car park’.

From Monday, March 2, the ward will be based at the Chipping Norton Health Centre.

Since it opened in 2011, it has been based at the Chipping Norton War Memorial Hospital.

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Clive Hill, secretary of Chipping Norton Hospital League of Friends, says the public wants to keep the first aid unit at the hospital.

He said: “There should have been a local consultation, it’s quite scandalous they’ re doing this without one.

“We’re concerned about the long term effects on the hospital.

“Patients love the first aid unit where it is and have not asked for this change.

“People in the community are confused and angry.

Oxford Mail:

“There is no need to make this change, we believe the unit is fully compliant with national guidelines and is providing an excellent service.

“It has won awards for the service it provides and this will not be helped by the proposed move.”

In a statement from SCAS, the service said that communication and engagement with local people about the move has been carried out over a number of months by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) with support from both SCAS and Chipping Norton Health Centre.

Mike Lowe, specialist practitioner manager, at SCAS, said: “We have worked closely with OCCG and the partners at the Chipping Norton Health Centre to plan for and implement the first aid unit moving the very short distance across a car park from the hospital site to the health centre.

“This means that local people who walk to the unit, arrive on public transport or in a private vehicle will see no changes to their ability to access this fantastic and much-appreciated local health service.

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“As well as minimising any logistical disruption for local people, the new facility will also help us improve the service we can provide at the first aid unit by strengthening our relationships with local GPs, practice nurses and other surgery staff, as well as streamlining our processes to provide a more seamless patient experience for those people who may need follow-up appointments at the Chipping Norton Health Centre.”

Diane Hedges, chief operating officer at OCCG, said: “The planned move of the much-valued Chipping Norton first aid unit across the site from the community hospital into Chipping Norton Health Centre will offer an enhanced service to patients.

“The move will also mean compliance with recent NHS England guidance on how urgent care is provided across the country.

“A full public consultation was not considered necessary because the change is not ‘substantial’ and patients are not losing their service.”

No changes are being made to the unit’s opening hours and it will still be staffed by the same paramedics and nurses from SCAS.