THE news that Oxford Health plans to shut the Wenrisc Ward for seven months will no doubt worry many Witney residents.

Community hospitals are vitally important to ensure that people are cared for near to their homes, their relatives and loved ones.

Similarly, staff at the hospital will most likely be wondering what could lie in store for them. Being redeployed to Oxford or Abingdon could potentially make their working lives a lot more difficult to manage.

Arrangements for staff must be considered fairly and thoroughly. They know better than anyone exactly how the ward works.

It could seem somewhat unfair that Witney patients should suffer because the trust is struggling elsewhere.

At the same time, the NHS belongs to us all and we must be willing to make sacrifices if the excellent morals behind it – free care at the point of delivery for all – are to carry across the county and beyond.

But important questions remain unanswered. Naturally such a significant move as this will worry people.