Following reports that a research company was approaching specific members of the public in Banbury Town Centre last weekend on behalf of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Victoria Prentis MP has commented:

“Since before the consultation was launched I have been extremely concerned about how the Clinical Commissioning Group planned to engage with minority groups to ensure their views were accurately represented in the exercise. At no point have I suggested that this should be done by instructing a private company to stand in the middle of Banbury High Street and specifically target people between 16 and 24 years old, ethnic minorities or those with a disability, while turning away other willing participants. Reports that those who did take part were offered Health Lottery tickets as an incentive are extremely concerning.

“The future of acute services at the Horton General Hospital is uncertain. We need to be reassured that the Clinical Commissioning Group is taking this consultation seriously. This exercise by Qa Research – which I have written to the CCG about direct – and the fact that it has taken almost 8 weeks out of the 12 week consultation period for hard copies of the proposals to be printed in Urdu and Polish leaves us questioning the entire process once again. It is simply not good enough.”

A letter to the Chief Executive of the Clinical Commissioning Group was sent earlier this week and can be found here.