Ed Vaizey MP (Wantage and Didcot) met with the Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage MP on Monday to discuss Wantage Hospital and healthcare provision in South Oxfordshire. Mr Vaizey was joined at the meeting by Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council and Charlotte Dickson, Vale of White Horse District Councillor for the Wantage Charlton ward.
Alongside representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Vaizey and the Minister led a wide-ranging discussion about the provision of healthcare in Wantage, Didcot and the surrounding villages. The ongoing closure of Wantage Hospital was specifically raised as an issue by Mr Vaizey, who asked for the support of the Minister and her department in finding a solution to the current closure.
The meeting also covered planned improvements at Wantage Health Centre and the development of a new health hub in Didcot. These new and improved services will be guided by consultation with local residents to see what health services are truly needed in their local area. Mr Vaizey was also keen that health services should not be developed in isolation, but as part of an integrated approach to supporting local communities alongside social care and other services. Speaking after the meeting Mr Vaizey said “I am delighted that the Minister found time to meet with me and local representatives to discuss issues of great importance to our local community. We discussed the ongoing situation in Wantage as well as our plans to develop new health hubs, both at an improved Health Centre in Wantage and plans for a new health hub in Didcot. I am pleased to see that the Minister and her department are keen to maintain a dialogue with local healthcare providers on these issues.’