A hospital which has survived several threats of closure is finally shutting its doors due to a lack of qualified staff.
Brackley Cottage Hospital has been kept open for 25 years since a campaign led to a trust being established to run it.
But with a shortage of staff, the 12-bed hospital has been forced to close and trust chairman George Britchfield announced the news with ‘great regret’.
He said: “The trustees are very aware that to several residents the cottage hospital is their home and that this decision will mean a great wrench for them and their families, and it can only be repeated that this has caused much heartache to all involved in the decision-making.
“However, the final straw has been the shortage of qualified staff in the marketplace and the one thing on which the trustees will not and cannot compromise is patient care.”
There have been numerous proposals by NHS trusts to build new facilities but none have been followed through.
However, Mr Britchfield said the trust remains committed to plans for a new 60-bed care home at the Network 401 development on the edge of town.
He said: “The trustees wish to record their sincere thanks also to the generous residents of Brackley and the surrounding area whose initial and ongoing financial support has enabled this charitable trust to continue for so long – even when the light at the end of the tunnel was getting further and further away.
“Just as the end of the tunnel seemed at last to be in sight it is galling to have to take this irrevocable step.”