HEALTH chiefs have apologised to Petersfield Town Council for failing to give an update on the future of a hospital ward.

Councillors were due to hear a presentation on the future of the Willows ward from the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust on Monday.

But they were left disappointed when Pam Sorensen, head of engagement, failed to attend the town hall meeting.

Mayor Mary Vincent expressed her disappointment, saying hopefully the council would be kept in the loop with regards to the Willows ward.

The Trust has since apologised to the council saying a "simple admin error" was to blame for Miss Sorensen's absence.

A spokesman said there was nothing sinister about their non-appearance and will now give councillors an update at their January meeting.

Older people with acute dementia and serious mental illness were treated at the Petersfield Hospital ward before its sudden closure last December.

The closure was part of a wider scheme to revamp mental health services for older people in Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire.

Online reports have confirmed that patients who would have been treated at Petersfield are now being sent to Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

Money to provide patient and carers transport to the hospital, in one of the South's most congested area, has also been ring-fenced.