LETTER: Answers needed

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IN response to your article that Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital is going to close a ward, I would like to ask the people responsible for taking this decision, why?

This ward is well utilised and currently has many patients that would need to be moved out of area, adding to costs.

Is this just another cost-cutting exercise to enable this NHS trust to employ over-worked health care assistants instead of highly-trained nurses which currently work within these wards and have done for many years.

Maybe another solution instead of closing this ward, would be to decrease the management structure now GPs are supposed to be managing budgets, and use the money saved by losing these jobs to invest in training more quality nurses, thus avoiding any closure.

In the event that Bognor Regis has another flood as it did in 2012, and all major roads into Bognor Regis are cut off, these ward closures would be devastating to patients as they would need to be airlifted by air ambulance, which would prove very expensive.

As Bognor and surrounding areas have a high population of elderly residents, it is obvious the need to keep these wards open will be greater in the future to avoid elderly/ frail patients travelling large distances to access services currently provided very locally.

I would therefore like some sort of explanation from the NHS trust responsible for this decision as to what has led them to this conclusion.

These services are invaluable locally and I am extremely annoyed that this excellent local health care provision will be lost, I believe due to cost savings or bad management.

I look forward to hearing from the PCT Trust responsible and hope further consideration regarding this proposal will be carefully considered.

I would also urge other residents to comment on this issue before any catastrophic decisions are made regarding health care provisions locally.

Sarah Boughtflower

Newtown Avenue

Bognor Regis