Health trust 'did nothing to quell fears of closures'

WEST Sussex people were unnecessarily subjected for more than a year to 'widespread fear' that accident and emergency departments in county hospitals could close, the joint health overview and scrutiny committee was told at a meeting in Chichester.

A report by West Sussex Primary Care Trust claimed that the fear was 'unfortunately aroused' in the early days of consultation over the Fit for the Future proposals for health services.

It said the PCT had in fact always been clear that Fit for the Future did not propose the closure of hospitals or A and E departments.

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But committee member Cllr James Walsh said the PCT report was not true.

In early 2006, a Strategic Health Authority (SHA) report specifically mentioned the possible closure of St Richard's Hospital, Chichester.

"There was a real fear in 2006 that St Richard's '“ and, by implication, any one of the district hospitals '“ would close," he said.

For full story see West Sussex Gazette February 27

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