30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, February 6, 1981.

HORSHAM Hospital looks set to lose seven of its 18 maternity beds despite an appeal to the public from the district’s community health council to protest if they want to save the beds.

A meeting of the West Sussex Area Health Authority, still in progress at the time of going to press, had before it the proposal to cut the number of beds to allow for improved antenatal facilities.

The idea has the approval of the Cuckfield and Crawley district management team – which covers Horsham.

Chairman of the Cuckfield and Crawley Community Health Council, Betty Ross, said before the meeting, she thought there was a fair chance the plan would go ahead.

The scheme would have the backing of the nursing staff whose idea it was.

Divisional nursing officer, midwifery, Jean Cushing, said: “We have only a 30-50 per cent bed occupancy but what is growing is the need for antenatal facilities. I have seen women sitting in tiny corridors and the need has outgrown the clinic.”

She said a five-bedded and a two-bedded ward would be replaced with a new consulting and new examination rooms. There would be more changing cubicles and a room for ‘preparation for parenthood’ classes.

POCKET money paid to the hundreds of children in West Sussex County Council’s care is to stay higher than in neighbouring counties of East Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Kent.

Suggestions that older children should have their cash cut and be encouraged to earn more with paper rounds and other work were brushed aside by the social services committee.

Councillors agreed that the rates should be unchanged, and that they should be reviewed every six months.

The cash is paid to children with foster parents and in homes. Actual amounts paid to individuals can be varied by people directly responsible for them in the homes.

Rates are: 40p for children up to three years old, 60p from four to seven, 80p from eight to ten, £1.30 from 11 to 12, £2.50 from 13 to 15 and £4.25 from 16 to 18.

Director of social services Helen Seed said they had not been increased for a year.

But obviously there was concern that the rates were higher than in neighbouring counties.

Councillor John Greenwood thought the rates were not too high. “It is wicked when you see what other children get to spend, and they also get a spin-off from treats provided by their parents.”

HORSHAM’S new indoor swimming pool is coming along swimmingly with Horsham District Council happy with its construction and the Horsham Indoor Swimming Pool Association confident it will raise the money needed for essential items.

Brian Bilton, director of technical services, told council members: “The pool’s doing rather well. The first element of the roof is on and ready for insulation.”

He added that the other half of the roof would soon be on as well so that the contractors would then be able to work without any worries about bad weather holding them up.

“The contractors are ahead of schedule on some elements, and behind on others, but I reckon that overall they are about three weeks behind.

“I’m not worried about that though because with no weather problems to bother about once the roof is on, they should be able to catch up.”

The pool is due to be completed in October.

The shopping list drawn up by the hard-working Horsham Indoor Swimming Pool Association has met with a good response.

The new indoor swimming pool is being built on the site of the old open air swimming pool in Horsham Park.