STRUCTURE:  The NHS Sussex primary care trust cluster is coming under increasing pressure from local councillors and the public over delays to a community hospital rebuild.

Arun District Council says thousands of people have joined its campaign “demanding” that a community hospital be built in Littlehampton. Around 5,000 letters of protest have been returned to the council in less than a month.

The council is campaigning for a new community hospital to replace the Littlehampton Hospital which was knocked down in 2005. It says NHS West Sussex promised that a replacement would be built straight away and has accused the PCT, now part of the Sussex cluster, of stalling on the issue for six years.

The council also says it has received letters of support from elderly residents “who describe having spent hundreds of pounds from their pensions in taxi fares to Worthing and St Richards Hospitals for appointments and treatment that they should be receiving in their own town”.

Councillors wrote to local GPs in July, asking for them to support the campaign, while council leader Gillian Brown has complained she is “still waiting for a formal response” from the cluster to a letter calling on them to “start the hospital rebuild as soon as possible”.