A parish council chairman has spoken of his hope a new operator will take over the threatened restaurant at Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital.
Brian Knight, who chairs Bersted Parish Council, said: “I’m not a fan of any privatisation but that might be the answer to keep the restaurant going.
“I’ve seen it happen in other hospitals and we might get a private contractor willing to go in there.
“As a parish council, we are shocked to hear the restaurant is closing. Many people in the parish have used it. I was gobsmacked when I read the letter about it,” he told the annual electors’ meeting.
The reason behind this is because the building is still owned by NHS West Sussex and, if the community trust want to run it, they have to pay them rent.
“They are renting the ground space in the hospital and they are not taking enough in the restaurant to cover that cost.
“Rather than taking money out of patient care to run the restaurant, which is not cost effective, they are going to close it.”
Marion’s Restaurant is set to be closed by Sussex NHS Community Trust on June 1. But Tuesday saw well over 200 customers fill the restaurant. Many are among the 250-plus people who have signed a petition to keep it open.