Local GPs have expressed serious doubts over plans for a new acute hospital between Horsham and Crawley.
After many years of debate, campaign, and both open and secret negotiations, the hospital plan has been put to the area’s doctors and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
MP Francis Maude outlined the idea at a meeting in Horsham today (Saturday April 20).
He pointed out to the GPs that recent changes to the NHS have taken the decision-making power from the politicians and civil servants, and put it in their hands.
However, the health professionals were not convinced that building and running a new hospital would be the best use of funds.
They acknowledged that the idea of a nearby A&E unit appeals to residents, but said those residents would be better served if the money was spent on improving existing facilities.
With limited resources and shrinking budgets, they said, building a new hospital would simply divert funding away from every other facility.
One doctor pointed out that in many life-threatening emergencies the important factor is paramedics’ response times, not the distance to the nearest A&E ward.
More in next week’s County Times.