Category Archives: Victoria in North Oxfordshire

Secretary of State for Health comes to Banbury

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On 11 May 2017, Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, visited Banbury. The Conservative candidate for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis took the opportunity to show Mr Hunt the Horton General Hospital site, and its surrounding area. She was also able to give him a copy of her response to the Transformation Programme Phase One consultation and to explain in detail the challenges facing the Horton.

In particular, they focused on travel times to Oxford, population growth, traffic congestion and patient safety. They were also able to talk to local people, and experience part of the journey to Oxford.

Victoria Prentis commented: “I have frequently discussed the future of the Horton with Mr Hunt, and have invited him to visit the site for some time. I was very pleased that he was able to do so. It was very helpful that he could come to Banbury in order to understand our concerns

“The Horton is a worry for us all; I continue to work closely with local elected officials, as well as the Department for Health. We need acute services in Banbury. Despite the election campaign, we must continue to put pressure on the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to ensure the future of services at the Horton.” 

For further information on Victoria’s work with the Horton General Hospital, please visit www.victoriaprentis.com/horton-general-hospital/.

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New Banbury and Bicester mayors sworn in at Mayor Making Ceremony

Victoria Prentis attended the ceremonies for the new Mayor of Banbury, Cllr Colin Clarke, and the new Mayor of Bicester, Cllr Les Sibley. Both are experienced holders of public office, with Cllr Clarke beginning his second term as Mayor having served in the role from 2010 to 2011.

Speaking after the event, Victoria commented: ‘It is always a pleasure to see this important, traditional ceremony in action. I wish Cllr Clarke and Cllr Sibley all the best in their new roles.’

Les Sibley

Victoria Prentis hits the General Election campaign trail

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With the General Election campaign now in full swing, Victoria Prentis has been out and about with local Conservative supporters to deliver leaflets outlining her vision for North Oxfordshire in the coming years. Victoria has made it clear that she supports the strong leadership provided by Prime Minister Theresa May, and she stands by the Conservative commitment to support education, healthcare and defence.

Speaking after her first campaign action day, Victoria said: ‘It has been great to get out campaigning again. I really believe in Theresa May’s vision for a strong Britain, and I know that it will be right course for the people of North Oxfordshire as well as the country as a whole. However, the Horton General Hospital is always at the forefront of my mind, and I want to make it clear that it is just as important to me as the wider national issues. I look forward to discussing the opportunities and challenges facing North Oxfordshire in the years to come. I am sure there will be many lively discussions on the doorsteps!’

Victoria Prentis meets voters at McDonald’s and the Banbury Beer and Cider Festival

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On Friday 5 May, Victoria held a Meet the Candidate drop-in session at McDonald’s restaurant in Banbury town centre before visiting the Banbury Beer and Cider Festival. With the General Election campaign now in full swing, Victoria enjoyed the opportunity to meet voters in an informal setting and chat about their concerns.

Victoria was welcomed to McDonald’s by manager Jane Blackwell, who was keen to discuss the opportunities and issues facing businesses in Banbury’s town centre. A number of local residents and voters also came along to discuss the campaign and Victoria’s plans for North Oxfordshire.

Later that afternoon, Victoria popped in to the Banbury Beer and Cider Festival, a popular annual event organised in conjunction with the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). As a long-time supporter of CAMRA and a keen cider brewer, Victoria was delighted to meet a number of people passionate about British beer.

Speaking afterwards, Victoria said: ‘It was great to meet so many people from different walks of life at both McDonald’s and the Beer Festival. What was clear is that we all want to see Banbury and North Oxfordshire flourish. I am really excited to be out on the campaign trail again and I am looking forward to meeting as many local people and businesses as I can.’

 

Victoria re-selected as Conservative parliamentary candidate for Banbury

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On Saturday 22 April, at a special meeting of the North Oxfordshire Conservative Association membership, Victoria Prentis was selected as the Conservative candidate for Banbury in the upcoming General Election.

Speaking after her re-adoption, which was passed unanimously by local Conservative members, Victoria said: “It has been a privilege to represent the people of North Oxfordshire at Westminster for the past two years. I am pleased and proud to have been re-adopted as the Conservative candidate for my hometown and will be working hard to seek re-election on 8 June. Much of my time, particularly the last year, has been spent fighting to save the Horton General Hospital. We have not won yet. I really hope I will have the opportunity to continue this battle as the Member of Parliament after the election. I look forward to getting out and about in the constituency in the coming weeks.

If anyone wants to get in touch with me they can via victoria4northoxon@gmail.com.”

The meeting was chaired by Association President, Barbara Cunningham. Of Victoria’s re-selection, she said: “Victoria has been a superb constituency MP and a passionate advocate for North Oxfordshire. On issues from HS2 to farming needs, broadband, business and of course the Horton General Hospital she has been a vocal champion for the Banbury constituency in Westminster. Her national campaigns like Singing for Syrians and the Great British Spring Clean are making a hugely positive difference in communities both at home and abroad. We look forward to working hard on her election campaign.”

Victoria comments on plans for a General Election

Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, has responded to Theresa May’s plan for a General Election on 8 June.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s statement, Victoria said, “The Prime Minister’s decision to hold an early election is the right one. It demonstrates that she has been listening to the public and is determined to ensure that she has a strong mandate behind her before our detailed talks with the European Union begin.

“Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act it is not possible to call an early election without the support of the other political parties. Parliament will have the opportunity to vote tomorrow. I look forward to supporting the Prime Minister in the Division lobby and making the most of this one-off chance to provide the country with the stability and certainty it needs as we steer a new course outside the European Union.”

Broadband Speed in North Oxfordshire

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, has welcomed the success of the Government’s Superfast Broadband programme in her constituency.

Following Government funding of £8.18million in Oxfordshire, current superfast coverage has reached 92.7%, and is estimated to reach 95.0% in North Oxfordshire by December. In addition, a new Broadband Universal Service Obligation will give consumers the right to request fast, affordable broadband wherever they live and work. This will mean that by 2020 everyone can request a connection of at least 10Mbps – around half the speed of superfast, but still quick enough to download a half-hour TV show in two minutes.

Victoria commented “I receive a lot of correspondence from my constituents about the speed of broadband in North Oxfordshire. I recognise that, for many of us, slow broadband can be a major frustration and a strong connection is very important for families and businesses alike.  I am therefore very pleased that the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme has made superfast broadband available to over 11,000 homes and businesses in my constituency.”

 

More information can be found here.

Victoria’s Response to the CCG’s Phase One Consultation

OCCG Submission

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP SUBMITS PHASE ONE CONSULTATION RESPONSE TO OXFORDSHIRE CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP

 

OCCG Submission

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, has submitted her final response to the Transformation Programme Phase One consultation ahead of this Sunday’s deadline. In her lengthy submission, Victoria spoke of her concerns about the consultation process, the content of the proposals and the level of engagement since its launch in January.

Key issues included:

  • The format and timing of Phase One of the consultation.
  • Flawed statistical analysis and a lack of evidence to support the proposals.
  • Travel times and transfer between hospitals.
  • Concerns about changes to maternity and obstetric services.
  • The impact on other local hospitals.
  • Poor engagement and a lack of reliable and consistent information from the   CCG.
  • Opposition to the proposals from the public, local healthcare providers, and all levels of government.

Calling the consultation “fatally flawed” in her concluding comments, Victoria also made clear that she does not believe the proposed service changes pass the four tests set by NHS England. In her final paragraph she emphasised that “True consultation involves offering options on which the consultees can comment having seen the evidence they need to make informed choices. This is not the case here.”

Speaking after completing her response, Victoria said:

“The past twelve weeks have been an unhappy and confusing time for all of us in North Oxfordshire. This submission is a culmination of my own view of the proposals and, I hope, adequately sums up the thoughts of the hundreds of constituents who have contacted me about the plans. I am particularly grateful to all who helped with my submission, including those who took the time to respond to my various surveys. Given its failings, I still believe this consultation should never have started, or should have been stopped some time ago. Unfortunately, that has not happened. I look forward to hearing how the Clinical Commissioning Group intends to proceed once it has had the opportunity to review all the submissions.”

To read a copy of Victoria’s full submission, click here:

170407 Victoria Prentis MP – Oxon CCG Transformation Programme submission (FINAL)

Alternatively, you can read a summary here:

170407 Victoria Prentis MP – Oxon CCG Transformation Programme submission (SUMMARY)

#BANBURY2JR TRAVEL SURVEY RESULTS

Form to record journey times

Summary

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, and her team have now compiled the responses to her survey on travel times between the Banbury area and Oxford’s hospitals. Victoria received 377 individual completed surveys. The data shows that it takes people, on average, 1 hour and 20 minutes to travel from the Banbury area to an Oxford hospital. It takes, on average, a further 20 minutes to park. The average patient travelling from the Banbury area will therefore enter a hospital in Oxford approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes after leaving their point of departure.

Commenting on the data, Victoria said, “It came as no surprise to discover that the average journey time from my constituency to the Oxford hospitals, including parking, is over an hour and a half. The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) maintains that the average journey time from Banbury to Oxford is 45 minutes. The data I have collected show this to not be the case.

“The majority of my constituents live within 10 miles of the Horton General Hospital – a much-loved, well-regarded and easy to access hospital. The Oxford hospitals are not easily accessible for the people of North Oxfordshire. It is vital that the OCCG take this into account when making any decisions about the future of NHS services in the county.”

 

Background

At the beginning of January, Victoria Prentis MP launched a travel survey to collect information about times between the Banbury area and Oxford’s hospitals. The data has been collected to help inform the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (OCCG) ongoing consultation about the future of NHS services in the county.

The distance between Banbury and Oxford has been a key factor in determining the organisation of health services to date. In 2008, a plan to move obstetric-led maternity services away from Banbury was rejected on the basis that the John Radcliffe Hospital was too far and too inaccessible for the residents of north Oxfordshire. It is widely accepted that since 2008 traffic in and around Oxford has become a larger issue, and that subsequently the travel situation is worse today than a decade ago.

Victoria was anxious to ensure that people’s real experiences were included in the consultation process. She asked people in north Oxfordshire, south Northamptonshire and south Warwickshire to record how long it took them to travel between home and an Oxford hospital for an appointment. Participants also submitted data on the time it took them to park at the hospital and what time of day they travelled.

The results

Distance

Victoria received responses from addresses in north Oxfordshire, south Northamptonshire and south Warwickshire. The closest address from which a surveyed journey originated was 12.4 miles from the John Radcliffe. The furthest away was 43.4 miles. The vast majority of respondents (84.3%) travelled between 20 and 30 miles to reach the John Radcliffe. 7.4% travelled over 30 miles to reach Oxford. The Horton General Hospital is 28.8 miles from the John Radcliffe (via the M40). None of the respondents travelled from within 10 miles of the JR. 97.3% live within 10 miles of the Horton.

Time of day

Victoria asked respondents to let her know the time of day that they travelled. The earliest journey was started at 0530. The latest journey was started 1740. Of the journeys surveyed, 48.3% were started between 0500 and 0859, 31.4% between 0900 and 1200, and 19% between 1200 and 1800.

As can be seen in Appendix 1, the time of day appears to have little impact on the total journey time. However, journeys into Oxford taken between 6am and 9am appear to take slightly longer than those taken between 9am and noon or noon and 6pm. The data demonstrates the unpredictability of the journey, regardless of the time of day.

Time taken to travel and park

The amount of time it took to travel to Oxford from the Banbury area varied greatly among respondents. This is in part owing to the variety of distances and the different modes of transport used. It takes people, on average, 1 hour and 20 minutes to travel from the Banbury area to an Oxford hospital. It takes, on average, a further 20 minutes to park. The quickest journey, from time of departure to entering the hospital, was completed in 35 minutes. The longest journey, which was undertaken by public transport (bus to the train station, train, then two further buses), took 4 hours and 10 minutes.

The parking problem has been acknowledged by OUHFT, which advises patients to allow up to an hour to park when visiting the JR. Respondents who travelled by public transport did not complete this section of the survey.

On average, it took people 20 minutes to park. 22.4% of respondents were able to park within 5 minutes of arriving at the hospital car park. It took 20% of respondents between 30 and 60 minutes to park. It took 3.7% of respondents more than 60 minutes to park.

Mode of transport

8.5% used public transport for all or part of their journey. 79.9% used a private car for the entire journey. 11.6% used other forms of transport, such as taxis and hospital transport.

Appendices:

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP VISITS BANBURY FIRE STATION

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On Friday 17 March Victoria Prentis,  Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, was given a warm welcome by the local fire and rescue team at Banbury Fire Station.

After introductions from Group Manager, Kerry Blair and Station Manager, Steven Anderson, Victoria spent some time meeting the crew and looking around the station and its appliances.

The visit was a good opportunity for Victoria to spend some time with the crew, talking about issues that they come across within their role at a full-time fire station. Discussions centred on road safety in the area and risks relating to electrical appliances.

Following the visit, Victoria commented: “Visiting Banbury Fire Station gave me a real insight into the problems that the crew come across every day. They are regularly involved in road traffic collisions, and witness terrible scenes. I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss a number of important issues with the crew, many of whom risk their lives almost every day for our safety.”

Simon Furlong, Deputy Chief Fire Officer of the Oxfordshire County Council Fire & Rescue service said: We were extremely pleased to welcome Victoria to the station to see first-hand the great work Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service do on a daily basis as part of the wider county services. Victoria attended the station shortly after the operational crew had just returned from dealing with a serious road traffic collision which highlights the broader role of the service.

Injuries and fatalities on our rural roads are still too high and we are asking drivers to slow down and ‘break before the bend’. 1 in 3 road deaths occur at bends on rural roads in Oxfordshire and speed plays a major part in this.”

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Victoria Prentis with a Banbury fireman at the fire station on Friday 17 March.

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