Ministers have ordered a radical shakeup of services at Surrey and Sussex trust following a damming report on factionalism and in-fighting in the area.
Junior health minister Gisela Stuart has approved controversial proposals to transfer all emergency, inpatient and complex surgery from Crawley to East Surrey Hospital, which followed a series of financial crises which left West Sussex heath authority with an accumulated deficit of£20m.
Ms Stuart insisted that the plans must also involve 'a number of improvements', including the development of a consultant-led urgent treatment centre to replace existing accident and emergency facilities at Crawley Hospital.
Acting HA chief executive Michael Taylor, drafted in following the departure of former chief executive Peter Catchpole, called for 'fundamental and deep-seated changes' in local health organisations. Mr Taylor accused local trusts of not collaborating.
Ms Stuart is to send the Department of Health's winter services emergency team into both hospitals, 'to ensure that patients at both sites receive treatment and service of the highest quality this winter and beyond'.
South East regional office is to set up a working group to develop plans for 2015-20, including those for a new hospital.