Health services under scrutiny

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HEALTH services in the north of the county will be looked at closely.

West Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee will examine how the NHS is responding to pressure on services used by residents.

The committee meets on Thursday March 15, at 10.30am, at County Hall, Chichester. The meeting will be webcast for easier access for residents in the north of the county.

Services provided by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SaSH) from their sites in Horsham, Crawley and Redhill have been under pressure, particularly in terms of the level of high attendance at A&E.

The Committee has invited the Trust to share its plans for maintaining and improving the services it provides.

They will receive a presentation from Michael Wilson, Chief Executive of SaSH, and will hear from others responsible for planning, providing and monitoring services in the area, including the Ambulance Service, the Care Quality Commission and NHS Sussex.

Committee Chairman Christine Field said: “We are aware of concerns about the pressure on emergency services and waiting times at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. Although this is in Surrey, around 50 percent of its patients come from West Sussex, and we need to ensure that they are receiving the right treatment and in the right environment.

“This meeting is an opportunity for us to understand why attendances at A&E and the number of patients admitted to the hospital are so much higher than elsewhere. We are looking forward to hearing about the changes that are being made at East Sussex Hospital to improve patient experience, and how everyone can work together to help improve these key services.

“We’ll also receive an update on Sussex Community Trust work with Care UK at Horsham and Crawley Hospitals and will be hearing from a range of people on the day, to get as full a picture as possible.”

Other items on the agenda include a presentation by South East Coast Ambulance Service on the ‘Make Ready’ programme, on proposals for improvements to the ambulance service and how they will be implemented.