COMMERCIAL: Charities, public sector organisations and private companies are being invited to submit plans for the future of the Harness Block at Southlands Hospital, run by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

The invitation follows a consultation that concluded inpatient care would be better and safer if it was moved to Worthing Hospital from the Harness Block at Southlands, with the rest of the Shoreham hospital developed as an outpatient centre.

The trust has committed itself to “exploring any possible new roles for the block as soon as possible”. With high maintenance and running costs “it is important that a solution is sought at the earliest possible opportunity”, it said in a statement announcing the invitation for submissions.

Paul Hatcher, the trust’s director of facilities and estates, said: “We are inviting anyone who has a viable plan for the Harness Block to come forward to talk to us. If any organisation in the public, private or voluntary sectors thinks they can use the site we want to talk to them.”

Expressions of interest must be received by 1 February. The Harness Block has more than 17,000 square metres of space, across four floors.