Emergency QVH burns patients may be sent to Brighton
Some services at a world-renowned burns unit in East Grinstead may be moving to Brighton, the BBC has learnt.
The Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) has an international reputation, largely due to pioneering burns surgery which took place there during World War Two.
But as a small specialist hospital it does not meet the new National Burns Care Standards published in 2013.
As a result, the trust is considering an arrangement with a major trauma unit being built in Brighton, it revealed.
The new trauma centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital is expected to be ready for use by 2020.
In order to meet the new standards, the QVH is considering admitting adult burns patients to dedicated QVH beds there.
The trust said the change would mean patients could access a wide range of other specialist staff and facilities.
It said experts have found that burns patients admitted as an emergency get the best outcomes this way.
Similarly, children with severe burns could be admitted to QVH beds within the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, it added.
QVH at East Grinstead would continue to play the central role in burns care for the region and its other specialist services would not be affected, it said.
Any proposals developed are likely to be up for public consultation before any final decision, it added.