A health authority accused last year of trying to undermine a trust has put proposals for relocating its services out to public consultation.

Oxfordshire HA faced criticism from Oxfordshire community health council and consultants at the Radcliffe Infirmary trust last October for unexpectedly moving major contracts to Oxford Radcliffe Hospital trust and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre trust in nearby Headington.

Critics said the HA might be trying to 'pre-empt' consultation over plans to relocate the infirmary's services in Headington, since its consultants favoured moving to another hospital site, the Churchill.

In its consultation document, Health Futures One , the HA says its preferred option is to move head and neck services to the John Radcliffe Hospital, run by ORH trust, and other services to the Churchill.

RI trust medical director James Morris said consultants did not see the solution as 'optimum' but were co-operating with the consultation process.

Oxfordshire CHC chief officer Penny Thewlis welcomed the consultation. But she said most public attention was focused on another HA consultation document, Health Futures Two .

This sets out two options for community hospitals in Oxfordshire that would see some expanded but others closed with the loss of 46 or 66 beds. It says Oxfordshire Community Health trust needs to save£1.5m by 2001, and other services will have to go if community hospitals do not close.