Amazed by lack of interest in hospital consultation

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WE are in the middle of a public consultation regarding the closure of in-patient services at Southlands and moving ophthalmology from Worthing to Southlands.

I have attended four of the meetings and been amazed at the lack of interest shown by the public.

People power is the only way any of us can express our dismay at the plans for fewer beds and being told we will be cared for “in the community”.

We all know fewer beds will lead to longer waiting lists and, when wards are closed because of winter viruses, we will be in a situation that does not bear thinking about.

Who is going to pay for the elderly care in the community and where are these “community beds”?

During the Fit for the Future consultation, they were in virtual wards.

Please let me know if anyone has seen them, because I am still waiting to be told where they are.

These beds will not be free, as we all know nursing home beds are expensive, so perish the thought of endless forms to fill in when we are old and sick and having to be means- tested so that we can continue our health care.

Why can’t Southlands’ harness block, which they are desperate to empty, become a well-run community hospital and a minor injuries unit, or is the truth that it sits on a valuable site which is more profitable to sell to the same developers building houses next door?

This, of course, would recoup some of the monies being borrowed for these redesigned services taking place at Worthing.

More services at Worthing, with less car parking, is going to cause chaos, and regarding the plans for Southlands, there will be less parking, but more clinics and the roads around the building (not a hospital any longer, if no in-patients) are all becoming “no parking”.

The bus services to Southlands from outlying districts are appalling and I can’t think of any other organisation which would get planning permission without providing adequate parking facilities.

Come on, prospective hospital patients. Speak up and have your say before it is too late.

Don’t wait until you need the services and find they are no longer there, or the bed you need is now at the far end of the county.

Remember, they say “no decision without me”. Please tell them what you think now.

Sue Coook

Fernhurst Drive