During a period of flux over the future of regional brain surgery services, patients at Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre have benefited from the extraordinary generosity of golfers in Haywards Heath.
Players at the town’s golf club have raised nearly £25,000 towards the cost of a piece of vital equipment, which monitors nerve function during very delicate operations.
The NIM Eclipse can be used to ensure that further nerve damage does not occur in operations on patients who may have injured their spines or suffer from brain or spinal tumours, for example.
Brian Gubbin, who chairs Hurstwood Park’s League of Friends was full of admiration for the amount raised by golfers over twelve months.
He said: “This was a great achievement by Haywards Heath Golf Club led by Bruce Wheeler, gentleman’s captain, and Karen Smith, ladies’ captain, to raise £24,308 in their year in office.
“A local club to support a local neurological centre is all credit to them and the members of Haywards Heath Golf Club.”
The Middy reported last week that surgeons and staff at the centre, on the Princess Royal Hospital campus, face changes in the coming months, with plans to move emergency brain surgery to Brighton by Easter to support the major trauma unit.
Staff are understood to be unhappy about the fragmentation of the service.
Brain Palmer from Burgess Hill sent a letter to the Middy this week warning: “Once Hurstwood Park is split up , the service will fragment and disintegrate, having no centre to it and that will be the end of the service for the people of the three counties it serves.”
He adds: “The Brighton hospital is in the wrong place to be a level one trauma unit...and the whole sorry mess just highlights the piecemeal approach this country has to health planning.”
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The picture above, celebrating the golfers’ £24,308 gift, shows: Kelly Doughton - senior staff nurse, Helen Beckett - theatre sister, Bruce Wheeler - the gentleman’s captain, Karen Smith - the ladies’ captain, neuro-surgeon John Norris and the League of Friends’ chair, Brian Gubbin.
n See letters page 24&25