Letter: Sadness over closure of north Horsham blood donor venue

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I have sent the following letter to the NHS Blood and Transplant service over its decision to close the popular location for donations in North Horsham.

‘Closure of Majestic House, Horsham, West Sussex’

I refer to your recent letter to blood donors who have been using Majestic House.

In my view this is a short-sighted and poor decision. It has been well used and has many regulars - to the extent that it has been necessary to book months ahead to get a convenient time.

Unlike the YMCA, Majestic House is easily accessible from both Horsham stations, is close to three major bus routes, as well as having parking.

Given that the large growth in Horsham’s population over the last 20 years has been northwards, with more to come, closing this venue now appears particularly maladroit.

When I lived in South Horsham I did indeed use the YMCA. The only realistic way of getting there for most of Horsham’s population is by car. It has car parking, which was sometimes insufficient. As the that venue opens off a narrow residential road, there is little scope for parking there.

I stopped using it because it was large and impersonal.

It was therefore a delight to discover Majestic House.

As you clearly have all our addresses, you could have consulted with your stakeholders first - and you could at least have tested out whether we would willingly move to Gorings Mead.

You did not do either of these things. You probably did not want to hear that you might lose a lot of regular and even casual blood donations, as that would have been inconvenient.

In the end it comes down to whether the total number of Horsham donations does indeed reduce - if it does, then it depends on what value you put on those donations as to whether this decision makes any sense.

As you rely on all of us donors as the stakeholders who give our time and our blood free of charge in order for you to run your service, I think we could have expected better, as could those who might suffer from a reduction in donations.

Tim Everett

Ringley Road, Horsham