West Surrey health authority has decided to keep open the 75-year-old Milford Hospital after local consultation and a vigorous campaign from the Liberal Democrats.

The HA favoured transferring most of the hospital's 40 beds for elderly rehabilitation to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, but has decided to keep them at Milford and to open 20 more beds.The HA faces huge bedpressures and Commission for Health Improvement reports last month on both Royal Surrey and Ashford and St Peter's Hospital trust identified bed-blocking as a key area of concern.Kay Mackay, HA assistant director of strategic development, said: 'While our long-term strategic aim across West Surrey is to provide more care - intermediate care - in patients'homes and in local care centres, we have recognised that the NHS needs the capacity provided by Milford to meet increasing pressures.'