Many local residents would have read with concern the news of the temporary closure of the Zachary Merton Hospital.
The Parish Council has been in contact with the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust to raise its own concerns and the following official NHS statement was issued on Thursday 30 November 2023:
Due to compounding estate issues affecting the Zachary Merton Hospital building, we have taken a decision to temporarily close the Intermediate Care Unit.
Following leaks from the water tank at Zachary Merton Community Hospital which has affected the ceiling structure and integrity, we have had to move staff from the first floor as a precautionary measure.
Further investigations by our Estates team have highlighted compounding issues affecting the whole building, including problems with the heating system and water seepage.
Patient safety is our absolute priority and as we are entering a period of colder weather, it’s essential we can maintain a consistent temperature appropriate for an inpatient healthcare setting. On this basis, a decision has been made to close the site and relocate patients being cared for in the intermediate care unit on the ground floor, so that we can continue to provide safe care in a suitable environment.
Zachary Merton Community Hospital will remain temporarily closed from 1 December while the estates infrastructure is thoroughly assessed and any necessary repair works take place.
Patients currently requiring intermediate care will continue to receive the care they need in an alternative location, such as an alternate hospital or via community care services in their own home and we are working with patients, relatives and their clinical teams to ensure that they are fully supported during this time.
As part of our ongoing winter preparations, we are also working with our teams to build additional capacity within the community so that we can care for even more patients in their homes.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
30 November 2023