Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Health Committee welcomes improvement to vital hospital services

Improvements to key hospital services have been welcomed by the West Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), including a proposal to make the Royal Sussex County Hospital a specialist vascular centre for the whole of Sussex.

Vascular services treat conditions where there is not enough blood reaching an organ or parts of the body such as the arms, legs or head, caused by a partial or total blockage. Vascular surgery deals with a variety of acute and life threatening conditions including aneurysms and strokes.

A Sussex-wide vascular network of care will be developed, with St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and Worthing Hospital continuing to carry out day case vascular surgery. They will also undertake diagnostic work and follow up treatment. Patients who need more specialist procedures will be treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.  

Committee Chairman Christine Field said: “We support this improvement to vascular services as it will ensure residents have access to high quality specialised services and the full range of treatments available. The vast majority of patients will continue to use local services, but those needing more complex specialist care will be treated in Brighton.

“It’s important that residents understand these changes are about providing better standards of treatment and higher quality care into the future. We have therefore asked the NHS to make sure these changes are clearly communicated to residents. We also want to make sure that people across West Sussex have access to the best vascular services, including those in the north of the county who may be treated in Surrey.”

The committee also welcomed plans to create the first major trauma centre in the region at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. This will provide trauma services for the very severely injured people who make up less than 1% of those going to A&E.  This does not mean other hospitals or A&E departments will close, but that major trauma victims will be taken straight to the best place for them to be treated.  

Members were also given an update on the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital, which will see it become a leading teaching, trauma and tertiary care centre.