LETTER: Hospital decline

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While I can understand from which direction Phil Hamerton was coming, I’m afraid I cannot agree with his sentiments (Shoreham Herald letters, July 2).

He is seriously misleading in his contention that we in West Sussex enjoy the benefits of two hospitals, Worthing and Brighton’s Sussex County, the latter is well known to be struggling to cope with the large city population of Brighton & Hove and outlying areas, although we can benefit on rare occasions for specialised services which Worthing is unable to provide.

As for Worthing, despite that hospital having spent in excess of £1 million on two operating theatres with lamina flow purification, all orthopaedic surgery is now carried out in St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, causing considerable hardship for those patients who do not have access to a car.

Agreed, a few lucky ones are able to utilise the services of Goring Hall, a private hospital which apparently has an NHS contract.

Mr Hamerton’s description of Southlands hospital again is misleading.

It was never derelict until such time as the powers-that-be decided to gradually, but with determination, move surgeries/operations and other services to Worthing, and allow Southlands to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance.

I recall clearly many years ago, many of us felt the hospital was doomed when they closed down its A&E department, during which time there was a public outcry which, as usual, was not heeded.

How right we were!

It was both heartbreaking and frustrating for both Southlands staff and the public to watch the gradual decline of this once highly revered hospital which served its patients so well.

So yes, Mr Hamerton, we can be allowed to mourn its loss, also that of its excellent staff to whom many of us owe so much.

Yes, I agree there are still medical facilities on the Southlands site but for how long I wonder?

We shall have to wait and see.

Beryl Ferrers-Guy

Southview Road

Southwick

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