Thousands sign petition to save HIV charity from closure

Sussex Beacon SUS-161214-162115001
Sussex Beacon SUS-161214-162115001

A petition asking health secretary Jeremy Hunt to save a Sussex HIV service from closure has attracted almost 5,000 signatures.

Bosses at The Sussex Beacon announced last Thursday (December 15) that the Brighton-based service could close as early as next June, as a result of NHS funding cuts.

The charity runs a ten-bed inpatient unit and provides support and care for people with HIV, was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in September.

Last year The Sussex Beacon’s inpatient unit had 233 admissions and was full for the majority of the year. It provided more than 2,000 ‘bed nights’, relieving pressure on both health and social care services in Sussex.

But the service costs over £2 million a year to run, and although it receives support from fundraising events, recent budget cuts from the NHS could leave it unable to continue.

Lynette Lowndes, chair of trustees at The Sussex Beacon, said the potential closure of the service would be ‘devastating’ for its users.

Since then, an online petition set up by Adam Betteridge, the CEO of a Brighton-based media company, has attracted thousands of signatures.

To view the petition, click here.