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COMMENT: Don't lose sight of the basics
10:00am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
OXFORD is rightly proud of its reputation as a home of medical advancements.
The research done here over decades has helped countless patients.
And now our newly formed Oxford University Hospitals Trust is seeking foundation status, which will give it greater freedom over its future and free it from central Government control.
Given the administration and bureaucracy within the NHS, the trust’s bid for more freedom will hopefully lead to an improvement in these areas.
Yet Oxfordshire’s director of public health Jonathan McWilliam and John Jackson, director of social and community services, are quite right to flag up fears in a report that the new trust may take its eye off the importance of delivering good quality basic services.
The research work and medical breakthroughs are hugely important and add great prestige to the trust and, by extension, our county.
But, as the report points out, there was criticism by NHS watchdogs last year about quality and safety standards at the Churchill, Horton and John Radcliffe hospitals.
It is important to stress they are raising concerns rather than pointing to clear evidence.
But they would have been derelict in their duty not to ensure that, with foundation status likely, priorities must be set from the outset and that must be every citizen in Oxfordshire.