Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praises staff during Worthing Hospital visit

W13001H13-Hunt-  W13024H13-Hunt  210313  LP''Jeremy Hunt. Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, visits Worthing Hospital to officially open a new clinical block. Pictured is Jeremy Hunt with Marianne Griffiths, Chief Executive of West Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

W13001H13-Hunt- W13024H13-Hunt 210313 LP''Jeremy Hunt. Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, visits Worthing Hospital to officially open a new clinical block. Pictured is Jeremy Hunt with Marianne Griffiths, Chief Executive of West Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

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HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the efforts of frontline medical staff as he formally opened an £8million new clinical block at Worthing Hospital.

The minister’s first visit to the area today (Thursday, March 21) saw him examine the site’s latest facilities, which provide two new elderly care wards offering 38-beds and a further outpatients’ department.

He spent the morning speaking to a range of staff and patients and highlighted some of the steps being taken to meet ever-increasing challenges our medical services face amid a backdrop of an ageing population.

Mr Hunt dismissed concerns from a small group of protestors who gathered outside Worthing Hospital who expressed fears over perceived “creeping privatisation” of the NHS services within the county. The Secretary of state responded that the Government remained committed to financially supporting and improving healthcare.

He said: “This is a really good hospital that has improved in the last few years. I have visited the Burlington Ward this morning and there is a very caring atmosphere. The fact that £8million has gone into this is important, but it is not just about the investment, it is about the culture and attitude of the hospital in putting patients first, which is being done here.”

While he welcomed the extension of such care facilities for the elderly, he added that there was more that could be done on a wider level to ensure assistance is given to those with care needs before they required hospital intervention.

For the full story, see the next edition of the Worthing Herald.