LETTER: Implications for public services

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I was looking for a section in the HDC document ‘Horsham District Council’s Planning Framework’ approved by the majority of councillors on 30 April this year - entitled ‘Infrastructure Provision’ - to see what provision this grand scheme made for medical services.

With an ageing population, the current huge pressure on local GP facilities (one clinic closed in Storrington recently), Horsham District residents having difficulty in getting a doctor’s appointment, the distance of acute facilities in Surrey, paramedic staff struggling to meet targets for attending 999 calls because of existing appalling traffic conditions - surely Cllrs Dawe, Vickers, Croft, Rae and Vickers would feel this merited full treatment.

I did not find such a section. I found Policy SD3 (p64) which states: ‘Sufficient healthcare provision within or adjacent to the Local Centre (i.e. north Horsham 800 acre site). The exact size will be determined at the time to meet the needs of the development’s population.’

It all sounded a bit thin – like part of a wish list.

Then I went to the responses to HDC’s consultation on their website and found the responses by the Surrey and Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (Chapter 5: Economic Development, Pro Sub 2932).

‘The principles in this chapter should also include a commitment to the provision of affordable accommodation to a number of critical roles in the public sector including doctors and nurses and other health professional groups. It has also been suggested that the Council might be considering a major redevelopment of the area around Hurst Road which would have implications for a number of public services located there including Horsham Hospital. If that is the case subsequently, then the CCG would wish to be engaged at an early stage in discussions around the implications of any proposals and options for change arising from them’.

Why didn’t HDC think of this? Does this pose any threat to Horsham Hospital at a time when Government thinking is focusing once again on ‘small [hospital] is beautiful’?


Old Holbrook, Horsham