STRUCTURE: Local public sector organisations are being formally notified that the Harness Block at Southlands Hospital is available for them to take on.

The formal notification follows a public decision by the board of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust in late April to declare the Harness block surplus to requirements.

The block, and peripheral buildings, has now been placed on the government website which lists public assets that are available for sale.

Public sector organisations have until 26 July to submit a viable bid for using the building and land. It would then become available to private sector bidders if no viable proposal was received within that time.

The trust noted it had already made “extensive efforts” to find out whether local partners might be interested in using the block for a health, or community-related purpose.

“Informal approaches to partners were first made more than a year ago, but although one possible proposal has been discussed no formal bids have yet been received,” the trust said.