Published: 30/01/2003, Volume II3, No. 5840 Page 9

A two-month contract to buy NHS cancer and cardiac treatments looks set to save a private hospital from closure.

The King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst, West Sussex, was in the hands of a liquidator because Surrey and Sussex strategic health authority, and Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and Hampshire SHA had withdrawn funding for contracts to treat 3,500 in patients and 11,000 out-patients.

The closure threat sparked a mass protest as the hospital provides the only radiotherapy unit in West Sussex. This week contracts have been reinstated for two months. A hospital spokeswoman said: 'The liquidator says that the contract will give her enough time to find another buyer.'