Support for hospital trust grows as north Horsham A&E hopes fade

Michael Wilson, chief executive of Surrey and Surrey Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital ENGSUS00120131231105716

Michael Wilson, chief executive of Surrey and Surrey Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital ENGSUS00120131231105716

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A Sussex health chief has said there will ‘never be’ an accident and emergency unit in the Horsham area.

The Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) which runs East Surrey Hospital at Redhill, is ever closer to becoming a foundation trust, where patients can be involved in how the trust runs.

But chief executive Michael Wilson said providers were in the hands of GPs in Clinical Commissioning Groups over providing new services.

He said: “Hospitals only get paid for what they provide. CCGs are the people who decide what they want to buy.

“It’s never going to be acute care (in Horsham or Crawley) because of the infrastructure that would need. They have to look at the strategic context.”

He added: “They think through how services can be more locally based and are quite realistic in terms of assessing level of expertise, and patient safety issues.

“There are services that should be close to people’s homes where it’s safe to do so. We support that philosophy.”

Foundation trust status means SASH will become more accountable to patients.

Some 18 months since the plan was announced, health regulator Monitor has leant its support and about 9,000 people have become members.

Mr Wilson said: “Four and a half years ago we wouldn’t have got 9,000 members.

“There’s a lot of interest in the hospital and about the exciting things we are doing and continue to do.’’

He added: “If you look at the chief inspector of hospitals’ report, we are still one of the only trusts in the country to have a good rating in every domain.

“Yes, there’s always more that we can do, but I don’t think people’s views of the hospital are any longer justified. It’s a strong organisation.”

For details about membership go to www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk