Health plans for Littlehampton are at a critical stage

Dr James Walsh.
Dr James Walsh.

Health chiefs have been urged to reveal their plans for new facilities to replace Littlehampton Hospital and other facilities in the town as soon as possible.

In the spring, NHS Sussex axed plans for a new hospital, dealing a shattering blow to campaigners who lobbied long and hard for the facility to be built.

However, by the summer there were hints that Littlehampton would be given new health facilities, but not a hospital with beds.

The Gazette understands an announcement may be imminent, and this week one of the hospital campaigners, Dr James Walsh, called for the plans to be made public as soon as possible.

The retired GP, who is also a prominent Liberal Democrat councillor on West Sussex, Arun District and Littlehampton Town councils, said: “Our hospital was demolished seven years ago, and a promise to replace it then was cynically broken by the primary care trust. Since then, the lease on mental health facility Pepperville House has expired, and the building is unsuitable, anyway, and the health centre adjoining the hospital site is at the end of its life.

“Developers have contributed a significant sum of money for new health facilities, and it is important that this is not lost.”

Dr Walsh said the new Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) should make an announcement very soon, so that people could be consulted and involved in the proposals.

Schemes being considered are thought to include a new building on the old hospital site, or on a site towards the north of the town, with a GP surgery as well as the other facilities.

Littlehampton GP Dr Tim Kimber, clinical director of the CCG, said the CCG “remains committed to improving the health service infrastructure in the greater Littlehampton area, in order to address the health needs of the population that we have identified in our work during the last year”.

For the full story, pick up the Littlehampton Gazette (Thursday, December 20).