Following an announcement by NHS England, the MP for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis, alongside councillors, campaign groups and residents, have raised concerns about a change in provider for PET-CT Scans in Oxfordshire. The world-class service, currently provided by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHFT), has recently undergone procurement with NHS England. Following the procurement process, it was announced that a new provider, InHealth, would be taking over the running of the service.
The announcement led to wide-scale concern over the safety and outcomes for patients in Oxfordshire. The current provision is world class and provides outstanding support for patients at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.
Following confirmation of the changes, Victoria wrote to the Chief Executive of NHS England, to express fears about the decision, given the expertise offered by staff and clinicians in OUHFT. The matter was then referred to the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) for further consideration.
A meeting of the JHOSC took place on Thursday 4 April and was an opportunity for committee members to question NHS England, InHealth and OUHFT. A number of passionate speeches were made by both clinicians and Oxfordshire residents. The Chair of JHOSC, Cllr Arash Fatemian, added that he was “particularly stunned by the arrogance and complete disregard” for scrutiny engagement, in decisions that have been made over the PET-CT scanners in Oxfordshire. Many concerns were raised over the lack of public consultation and support for OUHFT’s specialist service.
After lengthy discussions over the procurement process, the JHOSC unanimously decided to refer the matter to the Secretary of State for Health for consideration. Until a verdict has been received, no changes can take place.
Victoria said “I’m so pleased HOSC have referred this issue to the Secretary of State. It is a very important issue for those living in Oxfordshire. My constituents must continue to receive the high level of care already offered by the OUHFT and their renowned PET-CT scanners. It really is a world class service, and one which should continue to operate for years to come.”