THE uncertainty created by the closure of Deer Park Medical Centre still hangs over many people in Witney.

Since the GP surgery closed people have been hoping for answers about just how healthcare services will be provided in the town and the surrounding area.

So it is concerning to hear that some campaigners still do not feel they have been given straight answers.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) has an obligation to come up with a plan within the next four months.

Whilst the group insists it is on track to do so, it is abundantly clear that many people in the town do not feel it has communicated its progress clearly enough.

People will continue to feel frustrated unless they can see that they are being given a voice in the future of primary care in the town and nearby.

Clearly the closure of the medical centre and the situation which followed could have been handled better.

But OCCG now has a chance to put that in the past and move forward by engaging positively with patients.

If it has planned a way forward then it ought to be able to tell people what it is in a clear way, without resorting to jargon about ‘stakeholders’ and other terms which leave the person on the street baffled.

It would be wrong to suggest that the OCCG does not have patients’ best interests at heart.

The problem is that there seems to have been a breakdown in communication between the group and those patients.

If OCCG takes these steps to develop a better dialogue with people in Witney then there is no reason why this issue cannot be dealt with smoothly.

This case is a clear example of how all public organisations should strive to deal with the public in as clear a way as possible and update people regularly on changes to how public services are delivered.

Failing to do so only creates antagonism and leads to issues that could otherwise be avoided.