Town ‘at the bottom of the pile’ when it comes to health

Freddie Tandy and Mike Northeast, left  criticised health bosses over missing a key meeting. The duo are pictured with other Labour members at the launch of a health plan in February
Freddie Tandy and Mike Northeast, left criticised health bosses over missing a key meeting. The duo are pictured with other Labour members at the launch of a health plan in February

Health bosses have been accused of failing to treat Littlehampton’s health ‘crisis’ with the level of priority it needs after missing a key meeting.

Labour councillors have criticised Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group after the body cancelled a meeting of the town’s health service advisory group last week.

The CCG apologised for the cancellation, which is said was due to staff sickness.

District and town councillor Mike Northeast, a member of the advisory group, said: “The CCG is making it very clear through their actions that they are not treating the health service crisis in Littlehampton, which we are all facing daily, with the high level of priority and care it needs and deserves.

The cancellation is the latest in a series of frustrations over health provision in the town.

The Gazette revealed this month how the CCG was lagging behind in identifying health schemes to accompany hundreds of news homes.

Long-running discussions over a new surgery for the town have also dragged on.

Labour town councillor Freddie Tandy claimed Littlehampton was ‘at the bottom’ of the CCG’s pile.

“Unless they get a grip on the situation our confidence in them will need life support,” he said.

A CCG spokesman said the body was frustrated by the delay and said sorry to those affected.

They said: “Our lead for estates was going to be off at the time of the meeting due to planned sick leave, and Marie Dodd, who had been chairing the meeting, is now on secondment to Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

“We talked about continuing with the meeting, but wanted to make sure the right people were there from the CCG so that we could all have a constructive conversation and work together on next steps.

“Without key members from the CCG who have been involved in the specific work in Littlehampton we would not have been able to meet the expectations of our councillor colleagues and, together with a key member of the group, we agreed that postponing it to the next available date would be the best way forward.”