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Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2007, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Scores protest at hospital plans
Princess Royal protest
Protesters met NHS bosses as they arrived in Haywards Heath
Campaigners against proposals to downgrade services at two hospitals in West Sussex have been protesting to health bosses.

More than 100 demonstrated as members of the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority (SHA) arrived for a meeting in Haywards Heath on Monday.

The Princess Royal faces losing its emergency and other acute services.

Another demonstration was held in Worthing, whose hospital may also lose its A&E under the plans.

More than 80 protesters there gathered outside a meeting of West Sussex Primary Care Trust (PCT), which last week announced plans to downgrade two out of the county's three hospitals.

Public consultation

The PCT has said there should be only one major general hospital with the full range of A&E, emergency surgery and consultant-led maternity services.

Either Worthing and Southlands or St Richard's at Chichester will become the major hospital.

The two A&Es which close will be replaced by new 24-hour urgent care centres and a minor injury unit.

There will also be a new birthing centre somewhere in West Sussex, and more paramedics and community nurses to treat people in their homes or at their local GP surgeries.

The shake-up of hospital services in Sussex was announced last year in a document called Fit for the Future.

A public consultation exercise is expected to start in the next few weeks and run for 18 weeks, with 100 public meetings.

Health service public consultation will go ahead

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