News Date: Wednesday 31st October 2007

Don't leave it to others - get your consultation response in before it is too late

Health campaigners are urging local residents to make sure they register their objections to the downgrading of Worthing and Southlands Hospitals - before it is too late.

The West Sussex Primary Care Trust's Fit for the Future consultation closes at 9am on 14 November and any responses received after that date will not be counted.

Yesterday Keep Worthing and Southlands Hospitals (KWASH) campaigners joined with those fighting for the future of the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath and descended on Downing Street and Whitehall to ram the message home to the government that local hospitals should not be downgraded.

Now campaigners want to make sure that the same 'people power' message is sent to local primary care trust bosses with a huge response to the public consultation.

Figures released to KWASH under the Freedom of Information Act show that as of 10 September, the primary care trust had received just under 3,500 responses to the consultation. MPs Tim Loughton and Peter Bottomley are asking for those who have not responded yet to make sure they do before the deadline.

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said:

"We know that a lot of people will respond at the end of the consultation period and there are currently two weeks left, but it is important to remind everyone that the deadline is fast approaching. This is far too important an issue to leave it to others. Every single letter, email, telephone call, text message or any other form of communication you can think of makes a difference. People power can win the day, so make sure you take responsibility and get your response in."

Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing, added:

"The KWASH petition has over 100,000 signatures and will be presented to the PCT before the consultation closes. But even if you have signed the petition, please make sure you write. If you have written already, send another letter. We need overwhelming opposition to stop the downgrading of our hospitals."

To respond, write to chief executve John Wilderspin at the West Sussex PCT, FREEPOST SEA1064, The Causeway, Goring-by-Sea, Worthing, West Sussex BN12 6ZZ, telephone 0800 707 6975 or email:


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