Congratulations to Western Sussex Foundation Trust on its CQC rating of outstanding and Marion Griffiths, chief executive, and all who work there.
It is very reassuring to know that with Chichester, Worthing and Southlands new eye hospital, we live in one of the best areas of the country for health care, including maternity.
In addition Brighton’s difficulties are going to benefit from their expertise.
However, we now know that the proposed site for a medical centre in this special seaside town is to be sold for development – presumably to provide some of the 15,000 dwellings proposed between now and 2031.
Littlehampton already has the largest population in the area and, unlike Arundel, Bognor and Rustington, has no provision for the sort of ‘cottage hospital’ style facility proposed by the NHS director Simon Stevens.
Meanwhile,local GP services are oversubscribed and some are closing.
This local facility is essential to maintain our balanced community. The last thing we need is more old people’s flats.
It would appear that there are alternatives:
1. The original hospital site, gifted by the Norfolk family for this purpose should be used, it having been derelict for 13 years.
2. The old Waitrose site in Anchor Springs would make an excellent community centre. It would need to be updated to provide, say, a medical centre, day nursery, youth club, and to replace the splendid care facilities offered by the much missed Tamarisk centre. It is centrally placed by the bus station, has good parking and toilets. There is even room for a permanent caretakers flat.
The current commercial license, which seems to have been part of the reason for its being vacant for so long, will have to be changed to allow the new use.
Where is the money coming from?
Social care and NHS provision must be properly integrated. The separation between national and local government funding appears to be part of the problem.
The answer recommended by Lord Hennessy is that the well regarded NHS system we have has not been properly updated since Beveridge in 1942.
He says that a cross party review, to take it in to the 21st century, is desperately required.
Whatever is decided, perhaps a few million pounds can be found from somewhere.
Extra money seems to be found for many other purposes. Maybe a multi millionaire wanting his name to be preserved for future generations could come forward.
It has happened before! eg Zachary Merton.
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