COMMERCIAL: Western Sussex Hospitals NHS has extended a deadline for organisations to express an interest in taking over the Harness Block at Southlands Hospital.

The deadline has been extended until the 29 February after no formal expressions of interest were received by the original deadline of 1 February, despite the trust approaching dozens of potential tenants.

The trust said it was “keen to explore any possible use of the block” and will talk to any groups or individuals who are interested in using the building for health, community or other purposes.

It was decided last year that inpatients needing acute services would be safer, and get better care, if they were treated in Worthing Hospital rather than Southlands. An extensive range of other services, however, remain in place on the Shoreham site.

Trust chief executive Marianne Griffiths said: “We are still keen to see the Harness Block used for a purpose which serves the community if at all possible. That is why we have approached other organisations to see whether they might have viable plans for an alternative use, and why we are inviting anyone else to come forward.

“If anyone believes they can take over the Harness Block, and use it for something other than acute care, then I would urge them to talk to us.”

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