A PUBLIC consultation to gather views on changes to Worthing and Southlands hospitals starts on Monday, February 7.
NHS West Sussex and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust are running the three-month consultation and are inviting people to give their views at public meetings.
The proposals being put forward include plans to relocate orthopaedics and elderly care from Southlands to Worthing Hospital, building two new operating theatres for orthopaedic surgery at Worthing and moving opthalmology services from Worthing to Southlands and St Richard’s in Chichester.
Worthing will get 60 extra beds if the proposals are agreed.
Southlands will have 120 fewer inpatient beds but will be developed as “a centre for outpatients, diagnostics and day surgery”.
The proposed changes, called Service Redesign for Quality, include investment in better community services.
There will be 25 new community beds, and extra support from GPs and other medical staff to support people in their own home.
Dr Andrew Foulkes, medical director at NHS West Sussex, said: “These proposals will mean patients across the area have safer, better services both in hospitals and near to their homes.
“The plans have been shaped by hospital doctors, nurses, GPs and other clinicians, and we firmly believe they will mean patients getting better, safer services.
“Now we need to hear what people think, to see if the plans can be made even better, or if we need to consider any other factors before making a final decision.”
The public consultation, which ends on April 29, includes several public meetings.
The first is on Tuesday, February 8 from 2pm-4pm, in the Seaview Room, Southlands Hospital.
Meetings will then be held, 6.30pm-8.30pm, on:
n March 3 at the Shoreham Centre, Pond Road.
n March 10 at Littlehampton Town Council, Church Street.
n March 15 at the postgraduate medical centre, Worthing Hospital.
n March 22 at Southwick Community Centre, Southwick Street.
Full details of the plans will be published at www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk from Monday, February 7.
To order a copy of the consultation document including the feedback form, call 01903 285222 ext 4038 or email email@example.com