Senior health chiefs have met with Arun’s Council Leader to discuss Littlehampton Community Hospital, following last week’s trip by campaigners.
As a result, they have promised to prepare a project briefing note with critical timescales/ milestones that all parties can work towards.
The high level meeting between Cllr Mrs Brown and Sussex Cluster PCT Chief Executive Amanda Fadero took place on Monday morning and was called in response to the district and town council’s campaign calling for the health trust to honour its promise to the town by building the long promised community hospital.
Councillor Mrs Brown said: “It was a constructive meeting where we agreed we would all work together to try to map out way a forward. We were given an absolute commitment by the NHS Sussex PCT Chief Executive, Amanda Fadero, that we would get a decision about whether the hospital would be built or not as soon as possible. Further apologies about the unacceptable nature of the delays in arriving at a decision were also given by the representatives of the NHS who were present.
“We have now agreed to have a meeting to look at the outcome from the community bed review which is nearing completion and current other relevant evidence that needs to feed into the overall review. The Council has also offered to provide further population projection data etc at a meeting later this month and the Full Project Advisory Group will meet as planned in September.”
Around two dozen people travelled to the Hawth in Crawley to attend the meeting of the Sussex Cluster PCT last Thursday [July 28].
Local campaigners including Bob McDowall and Fred and Millie Harman, joined the Council Leader Gillian Brown, Littlehampton Mayor Alan Gammon and fellow Councillors on the trip.
They joined the Leader and the Mayor in asking questions of the board, including:
- How much has the PCT spent on preparing for the tender process, tendering, evaluating and then entering into the LIFT contract with West Sussex Community Solutions.?
- Can you confirm that Sussex Cluster PCT is still legally responsible for commissioning health services and therefore responsible for the delivery of Littlehampton Community Hospital?
- Can you assure us that we will have a community hospital in Littlehampton as we have been promised and when will you be making that decision?
- With so many unaccountable delays to this hospital re-build, how is the public expected to have any confidence in the PCT being able to deliver a project?
- How much has the Health Service spent in total over the last 6 years on all the work around demolishing the old hospital, designing and tendering the contract that was within 1 week of starting and the subsequent business cases, redesigns etc for a new hospital?
- Doesn’t the anticipated growth in the local population demonstrate that existing facilities are not able to cope with such an large influx and is it acceptable in an area that has high levels of deprivation and a significant elderly population for the PCT to make patients travel to Worthing or Chichester when a site already exists for a local community hospital in the town?
The Duke of Norfolk and two of the local MPs have also backed the fight to get Littlehampton’s promised hospital built.
You can sign your copy of the protest letter at:
- Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton
- Littlehampton Gazette office, Beach Road, Littlehampton
- Littlehampton Library, Maltravers Road
- Littlehampton Town Council offices, Manor House, Church Street
- Electronically at www.arun.gov.uk/giveusourhospital