CAMPAIGNERS are continuing their fight to save Southlands Hospital, despite the Harness Block going on the open market.
Sussex Defend the NHS collected signatures on their petition at Shoreham Farmers’ Market.
Marjorie Sams, who spoke to East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton on the day, said: “We need community beds in Adur, and the surrounding area.
“Some of us are trying to get these beds in Southlands Hospital. We need ‘step down’ beds for the people of Adur.”
She explained ‘step down’ beds meant convalescent, rehabilitation and respite care in community beds.
“People in Shoreham have to go to Worthing or Bognor Regis for these beds at the moment, as there are no community beds in Shoreham,” added Marjorie.
The campaigners believe the benefits would include less bed-blocking at Worthing Hospital.
It would also mean there was a place for Adur people to go between hospital and home care, and patients not being discharged to go home too early, with no back-up care.
Marjorie said: “Proactive care (care at home) is excellent, on paper, but it needs more trained staff to put this in place, and there is a shortage of staff in this area.
“Everybody would be happier at home, if they are well enough to survive, and had adequate care in place.
“Some depression in the elderly is due to the isolation of people in their own homes.”
She said many people had signed the petition on November 9, despite torrential rain on the day, and the hoped these would count as one vote per signature when it was handed to the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Steve Guy, another campaigner, said: “For many years now, local people in Adur and Shoreham have been lobbying the NHS authorities to make community bed provision available at this end of the county.”
He said the campaign to stop the trust downsizing the site and selling off the Harness Block, the former in-patient part of the hosptial, continued.
People wishing to join the campaign can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.